KINGDOM COME by Jim Hougan


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Tongue-in-cheek spy caper filled with mysterious omens and just enough nasty violence to give it an edge: a first novel from

a journalist specializing in the intelligence industry (Secret Agenda: Watergate, Deep Throat and the CIA, 1984, etc.).

Having left his darling Clementine snoozing in his apartment, CIA agent Jack Dunphy goes out on his morning run through

London and finds that his cover’s been blown. Leo Schidlof, a Kings College professor, has been butchered on the lawn of the

Inner Temple, and police have discovered the listening device Dunphy had planted in the professor’s telephone. Whisked back

to Virginia without even a goodbye kiss, Dunphy is interrogated by two weirdos who smoke the same brand of cigarettes and

wear identical bolo ties. Dunphy’s job had been to set up quasi-legal money-laundering scams for a variety of unsavory types

that the CIA wanted to track; when asked if he got all the loose ends tied up, Dunphy manages to fool a polygraph test—but is

nonetheless assigned to a dead-end bureaucratic job. He pokes around for more information about the professor and discovers

a peculiar file that lists, among others, Ezra Pound, Carl Jung, and a corps of secret soldiers headquartered near Roswell, New

Mexico. His superior orders him to lay off, but, pushing on, Dunphy tracks down a former secret soldier, now afflicted with Mad

Cow Disease, who talks of laser knives, silent helicopters, and a campaign of cow butchery similar to the kind that befell poor

Schidlof. Dunphy returns to find his roommate dead of an accidental asphyxiation, takes off for Europe with some cash he’d

hidden from one of his unsavory clients, and, with the enigmatic Clementine in tow, finds himself chased across Europe by

members of a secret society that really is secretly manipulating world governments to bring about a New World Order.

A skillfully skewed take on conspiracy mania, though it may annoy thriller fans seeking a straight story.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-345-43324-6
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Ballantine
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2000


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