THE ZERO HOUR by Joseph Finder

THE ZERO HOUR

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 A well-briefed, well-financed, well-armed international terrorist goes up against the computer at the nerve center of a Wall Street bank. Billionaire Malcolm Dyson, a fugitive from American justice ever since Manhattan Bank CEO Warren Elkind resisted his criminal blandishments and turned him in for insider trading, has been licking his wounds in his Swiss estate. And ever since a clandestine federal attempt to grab him for informal extradition without benefit of legal niceties left him crippled and his wife and daughter dead, Dyson's plans for revenge have broadened to include the US government. What can he do to send a mortal blow to both his enemies? Dyson breaks terrorist Henrik Baumann, the so-called Prince of Darkness, out of a South African prison so that Baumann can (1) tap into Manhattan's computer and siphon off billions in funds, and (2) plant a bomb that will bring the building crashing down and humble the CIA and FBI. But the murder of the prostitute who steals crucial computer codes from Elkind accidentally brings FBI agent Sarah Cahill into the case--her philandering NYPD ex-husband, who knows Sarah had been running the woman as an informant, calls her in to make the identification--and with a few additional lucky breaks (a secure phone line from Switzerland that's not so secure, an erased answering-machine tape Sarah succeeds in bringing back from the dead), we're off to the races, with the feds hot on the Prince's trail, and the Prince, who knows they're hunting him, icily determined, amid all the high-tech dirty talk, to kill anybody who gets too close. Despite frequent echoes of the World Trade Center bombing, Finder (Extraordinary Powers, 1994, etc.) keeps the menace breathlessly exciting rather than grimly scary. The result is as fleet and entertaining as Black Sunday, if you don't mind rooting for an international bank. (First printing of 100,000; film rights to 20th Century-Fox; author tour)

Pub Date: May 31st, 1996
ISBN: 0-688-14450-0
Page count: 432pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 1996




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