EYE OF THE STORM by Jack Higgins

EYE OF THE STORM

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 A world-class assassin goes after British PM John Major in Higgins's latest firmly engaging round of speculative derring-do. The Day of the Jackal this isn't, although Sean Dillon--a rogue IRA hit-man who's also a master thespian--is nearly as charismatic a killer as Forsyth's Jackal; and the author's own The Eagle Has Landed it isn't quite either, though Higgins, a diligent literary recycler, revives the spirit, pacing, and even one major player from that 1975 classic. This is the vigorous, rather simple tale of what might have been behind the real-life, still unexplained, mortar attack on Number Ten Downing Street on February 7, 1991. Here, Saddam Hussein, reeling under the allied bombing of Baghdad, asks oily Iraqi billionaire Michael Aroun to avenge Iraqi honor, which Aroun does by joining forces with Stalinist KGB Colonel Josef Makeev and hiring Dillon to blow away Margaret Thatcher, now visiting in France. When Dillon is betrayed by two hirelings and misses his shot at the Iron Lady, he ups the stakes- -why not, he proposes, go after the current PM (here, a most charming chap) and in fact the entire British War Cabinet? Using his Olivier-like powers to pose as several characters, including a bag-lady, and aided by a sexy KGB spy, Dillon sneaks into England, then Ireland, contacts old criminal/IRA pals, and plans. Arrayed against him in an ever-more suspenseful chase are several stalwart British agents, male and female, and two ex-IRA men, including Liam Devlin of Eagle fame. The mortar attack itself has about as much dramatic impact as a hiccup, but Higgins saves his big melodrama for Dillon's attempted escape--which will leave readers happily breathless and waiting for a sequel. The action's so fast, the heroes so valiant, and the villains so blackhearted that not even Higgins's syntax-crunching prose will keep his fans from driving this--his most enjoyable book in years- -up the charts. (Book-of-the-Month Split Main Selection for July)

Pub Date: July 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-399-13758-0
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 1992




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