Kirkus Reviews QR Code


by Jack Higgins

Pub Date: March 4th, 2002
ISBN: 0-399-14833-7
Publisher: Putnam

Superhero Dillon gets his villain, saving us all from heaven knows what.

Beautiful billionaire terrorist Kate Rashid should have gone back to terrorist school for a refresher in Security 101. Scheming Kate just can't seem to keep those nefarious plans to herself. Eager to blow up a certain bridge in southern Arabia (“I want to create chaos”), she mouths off in an Irish pub that, as even a journeyman bomb-thrower will tell you, constitutes a security leak begging to become a flood. Within minutes her plan's details are known to Sean Dillon, counterterrorist extraordinaire, who takes the steps necessary to foil it. That is, he collects a couple of AK-47’s, a couple of Brownings, a helper to watch his back, and a plane to jump out of when the time is right—all the assault team he needs to put a whole army of Kate's simpletons in body-bags. But why was wicked Kate so intent on blowing up that bridge? Well, oil pipes run alongside, you see, and if these were to be destroyed, the world's oil supplies would suffer a devastating blow. And why does that matter to Machiavellian Kate? She figures it would so besmirch US President Cazelet's reputation that his place in history would be permanently downgraded. She holds Cazelet, Dillon and friends responsible for the deaths of her three cherished brothers, cold-blooded killers all, and though her retribution-of-choice might seem roundabout to some, to Iago-like Kate it's an eye for an eye. At any rate, Dillon stymies her, setting the stage for the obligatory showdown: Dillon vs. Kate, mano a womano, and you will go a long way to match the absurdity with which this denouement plays out.

At one end le Carré, at the other Higgins himself (Edge of Danger, 2001, etc.), who yields to no one in mindless plotting.