DEAD SIMPLE by Jon Land

DEAD SIMPLE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 A former Weather Underground bomber ransoms Manhattan after demolishing its bridges and tunnels: a formulaic shoot-'em-up featuring former CIA counterterrorist Blaine McCracken (The Fires of Midnight, 1995, etc.). In Pennsylvania, an unguarded tanker truck filled with Devil's Brew, the world's deadliest explosive, disappears without a trace. About the same time, a mysterious bald-headed terrorist, annoyed that his plan to blow up the Washington Monument has been canceled by the fearless McCracken, gets in a few good shots before escaping. Written off as a cripple by medical science, McCracken limps to the Florida Keys, where his Sergeant-Major Buck Torrey, once commander of McCracken's ``Dead Simple'' Special Forces group, teaches him to swim with the alligators and hold his breath for more than two minutes underwater. Just as McCracken is flexing his rejuvenated muscles, Buck heads to Virginia to help his daughter, Liz Halprin, an ex-FBI agent who lost her job when one of the shots she fired at a pistol-packing maniac happened to kill her son's schoolteacher. It seems now that Liz's nasty neighbors want her to sell the family farm to sleazeball developer Maxwell Rentz. Alas, Buck is disappeared by Rentz, giving McCracken an excuse to team up with the beautiful Liz to rescue his substitute father-figure. Meanwhile, psychotic hippie radical Jack Tyrell (a.k.a ``Jackie Terror'' in the '60s) has the truck of Devil's Brew and is making anti-Manhattan plans with his old pals, among them the twisted psychic Queen Mary and the delightfully demented Yost twins, Earl and Weeb. McCracken, with Liz in tow, has no choice but to round up the old Dead Simple gang, including seven-foot-tall Native American Johnny Wareagle, to save the bridge and tunnel crowd from a fate worse than rush hour. Ten pounds of plot in a two-pound bag, filled with gruesomely cartoonish violence, macho posturing, and glib, gun-toting crazies who occasionally shoot straight.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-312-86489-2
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Forge
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 1998




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