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Who is Chad Norris? He is the United States Olympic field-and-track star with the greatest chance of sweeping the decathlon in the Moscow Olympics, and his record already surpasses Bruce Jenner's. Then why is he acting so oddly in Moscow? Whenever he's interviewed or asked a question about his past, he replies with pokerfaced tall tales. And on the day of the opening ceremonies, it is discovered that Chad has disappeared. Since the reader here stays with Chad throughout, we know that he has really just shaved his huge Jesus beard, bought some peasanty clothes, and is slumping about town waiting for a Russian girl travel guide whom he met in Helsinki--he's going to persuade her to leave Russia by way of a Ukrainian underground railway (whose final terminus is Tompkins Square on the Lower East Side). But is that Chad's real mission? No! Because Chad is actually Dale Richardson, whose father was falsely imprisoned for working for the U.S. spy network in Russia and is now in Lubyanka Prison--and Chad somehow intends to get him out again. . . . Some amusing dialogue among the athletes, but Redgate (The Killing Season, Barlow's Kingdom) lets the intriguing set-up here slip into a pedestrian gal-and-guy-on-the-lam scenario--with a dippily happy ending. Breezy but weak.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1979
Publisher: Delacorte