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 Onetime terrorist Sean Dillon goes for the gold once more, in a tired, overgalvanized treasure hunt aimed at die-hard Higgins regulars. Before he beat his IRA sword into the plowshare of Her Majesty's Secret Service, Dillon (Angel of Death, 1995, etc.) managed to infiltrate loose-cannon Irish Protestant Michael Ryan's plot to steal ú50 million in gold bullion to purchase weapons for the Loyalist cause. Ryan and his teenaged niece Kathleen, not realizing their strong right arm ``Martin Keogh'' was actually IRA stalwart Dillon, planned to hijack a gold shipment and transport the booty by sea to the Emerald Isle. But a dispute with the Ryans' other hirelings, the mercenary captain and crew, left the Irish Rose sunk in 90 feet of water. Now, ten years later, a lot of people suddenly get interested in the sunken treasure all over again. Mafia Don Antonio Russo wants to break Ryan out of a New York prison, where he's serving 25 years for shooting a cop, in return for the coordinates of the Irish Rose. Jack Barry, Dillon's old boss before he retired as IRA Chief of Staff, thinks the gold (now worth ú100 million) would come in handy in arming the Provos. The Ryans, forced into partnership with the hated Barry and the Mafia godfather, are just waiting for the moment when they can grab the loot that should have been theirs. And Dillon, now working for Brigadier Charles Ferguson and Chief Inspector Sarah Bernstein in the cause of peace, can't afford to let anybody else get their hands on the gold. With all these cross-plotters bustling about waving their Walthers, the scene is set for one of those patented Higgins climaxes in which the blood will flow like Bushmills. This time, though, the cast--even spitfire Kathleen Ryan, who comes across as one more dead-eyed avenger--seems glazed and over-rehearsed, as if they've run the familiar story through one Saturday matinee too many. (Book-of-the-Month Club main selection)

Pub Date: May 21st, 1996
ISBN: 0-399-14154-5
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1996


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