THE WHITE HAND by Jean Warmbold


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A so-so political thriller featuring investigative reporter Sarah Calloway, who debuted in June Mail (not reviewed), and a slew of men using aliases--including love interest Peter Nystrom of the Swedish Secret Service (maybe). While on a stakeout, Sarah notices a young pregnant girl pacing beside a mailbox, fretfully dropping in a letter, then being gunned down by hit-men. Quicker than Sarah can gather her wits together, a prowl car zips by, and an officer with a birthmark on his neck bundles up the body, then speeds away. The next day, the girl's death is reported as a mugging fatality! At the funeral, Sarah waylays the girl's mother, who agrees to let her have that letter, which is in code. Soon mom is dead, too, and Sarah breaks the code, which lists 13 men--all of whom took part in a dirty-tricks unit set up by The White Hand, a Miami-based Cuban terrorist movement responsible for, among other things, Palme's assassination in Sweden; Central American death-squad hits; Noriega folderol; arms stolen from a Californian military installation, etc. The dead girl's boyfriend, ""Cowboy,"" an ex-California Ranger and current mercenary, keeps eluding Sarah and Peter, whose search encompasses massage parlors, local bars, the peculiarly isolated Kelsey Farm, fashionably smarmy parties, and their own trysting in a motel room. Eventually, the DEA gets involved, most of the 13 coded names are killed, and ""Cowboy"" surfaces for a grand shoot-'em-up. A bit heavy-handed but passable thriller fare. Sarah's not bad company, either.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1988
Publisher: Permanent Press