A SPORTING CHANCE by James Edward Amesbury


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A bloody but weakly conceived thriller, with a replay of that familiar premise whereby a man is made the target in an outdoorsy hunt-ordeal. Harry London, an adventure writer down on his luck and needing cash to finish a novel, answers an ad offering a very generous sum for an unnamed service. But before Harry is actually given the mysterious job, he must pass tests: defending himself against a black-belt karate expert; surviving (along with two rivals for the job) an African ordeal--fighting lions with only a spear and shield, facing hippos and rhinos, flash flood, grueling dehydration, and eventual capture by the African country's crazy troops. (Harry is lined up with fellow-survivor Marcel before a firing squad--after having dug his own grave--and then fired at by soldiers who miss on purpose.) Finally Harry escapes, jets back to the Riviera, and is the obvious best man for the job: he is to be the target of 48 hours of deadly pursuit on a tiny island near Corsica--as some of the world's richest sportsmen indulge in a quasi-religious festival. Okay action for pain-in-the-wild buffs--but Harry (despite some wisecracks à la Bogart) is a thoroughly unengaging hero whose romance (with the tough broad who runs the African nightmare) and survival remain matters of little or no interest to the reader.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1980
Publisher: Dial