WILDFIRE by Ken Goddard


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 Goddard's ultimately tepid thriller gets off to a quick start but never manages to build on its initial momentum. US Fish and Wildlife Service covert operations badass Henry Lightstone and his jocular yet equally badass buddies have a knack for stumbling into the right place at the right time--usually just after a firefight has erupted. For their latest adventure in accidental timing (or is it simply dumb luck?), they pick up the trail of the corporate doom meisters from the International Commission for Environmental Restoration (ICER), whose plans to terrorize the worldwide Green movement Lightstone and his team thought they had thwarted in Prey (1992). Thrust into the sequel, however, is a deadly new variable: an assassin hired by Wildfire, ICER's militant environmentalist opposition, to take down both the committee and those pesky F&W agents. Wildfire's man, a six-foot-ten-inch cipher known only as Riser, is the angel of death, but he meets his match in Lightstone and company. Docile guppy guardians these government boys are not: They're more like ultrabutch eco-cowboys, tempting the disapproval of their superiors and telling bad jokes under a hail of bullets. They wrestle hammerhead sharks bare-handed. They crack sophisticated computer systems. They practice karate. Moving his superheroes to a showdown in the Bahamas, Goddard displays his considerable knowledge of everything from endangered species to boating to guns. On matters of detail, the director of the National Fish and Wildlife Forensic Laboratory shows himself to be a Field & Stream Tom Clancy. Women, however, are interesting mostly for their muscle tone. A welter of technobabble, along with some harrowing action sequences and the reappearance of old enemies, can't keep the novel from floundering as Lightstone and his pals zero in on Wildfire's plot to torch Yellowstone National Park. Gets by on swagger and bravura and a steady diet of shoot- outs--but just barely. (Author tour)

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-312-85424-2
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Forge
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 1994


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