THE RED ARROW by Jeff & Sander Diamond Rovin

THE RED ARROW

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Forbidden photography embroils a tourist couple in vicious post-Gorbachev Soviet power struggles. The Rovin/Diamond team's previous Russian thriller was Starik (1988). Russia's not a lot of fun for vacationers David and Judith Epstein. The goodness of Gorbachev's glasnost is gone, and the timeless smell of fear is back in the air as Kremlin power factions start to duke it out over the dying body of their beloved General Secretary. On the train from Moscow to Leningrad, free-lance photographer Epstein, whose parents fled the Soviet Union in the bad old days, rips off some night shots out the window and accidentally records the suburban murder of a prostitute. The killer is the head of the KGB, one of the leading candidates for the country's top job. An alert railroad porter who heard the camera clicking rats on the Epsteins, who are able to escape the country only with the help of their lovely Intourist guide. But the reach of the KGB is long. No sooner has Epstein made it to the supposed safety of his N.Y.C. studio than he hears Russian footsteps in the hall. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, a nonpartisan KGB colonel is working on the case of the murdered prostitute and coming to care quite a lot for the recently widowed Intourist guide. Epstein can hide the negatives, but he can't hide himself or his wife from their KGB tormentors, who chase them to a shootout at Kennedy International. Lots of action but curiously unexciting, perhaps because the American couple are so much less engaging than the Russians.

Pub Date: Dec. 28th, 1990
Publisher: Dutton