JUNTA by June Drummond


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Brisk, no-nonsense South African intrigue from a veteran. When a newly elected South African president announces the release of black dissident Vusi Matlala, open season on Matlala begins--with the greatest danger coming from the Junta, a shadowy group of political manipulators headed by ruthless information-broker Mathias--who debate whether to assassinate Matlala or discredit him by means of a bribe traceable to the government. Mathias' assassination faction wins and plans to kill Matlala as he visits his brother Zidon, surveillance chief at Bowers Bay casino. In the meantime, Ross McRae, a childhood friend of the Matlalas back from America for his father's funeral, is approached by his boss Richard Wragge, head of the computer giant Salectron, to help identify the entourage of Stavros Pampallas, a notorious gambling cheat en route to the casino. The two plots collide when Ross and Zidon observe Pam-pallas' panic as he recognizes a man who proves to be the hired assassin. When Ross passes his information on to security chief Charlie Sickert, Sickert confronts the killer, who promptly disposes of him and passes the word to Mathias and Co. to find and liquidate any surveillance videotapes of the event--or any witnesses. Can Ross save Vusi Matlala from the plot against him while staying alive himself?. Can he protect his lover, Wragge's daughter Julie Aikmen, from danger while he tracks down the source of a million-rand check Wragge offered Vusi? And can he find the leak in Salectron that's allowed vital technological secrets to pass to illegal regimes? Of course he can--though that last subplot, besides giving Ross an awful lot to do, mars the economy of Drummond's generally tidy plotting. Quick, understated, and unobtrusively well-observed, though pretty modest for its cover price.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1989
Publisher: Victor Gollancz--dist. by David & Charles