10,000 DAYS by Kenneth Royce

10,000 DAYS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A tough, sweaty Middle Eastern thriller with a pair of agents working--endless racing about, endless difficulties--to save the world and themselves. It's 1984, there are 10,000 days of oil production left on the globe (that's 27 years), and England and the US are playing fast and loose to steal Russia's advantage in claiming the bigger part of Arab oil reserves: treacherous British spymaster Sir Maurice Higgs and CIA chief Joseph Marshall pool their resources to effect sabotage on a Russian pipeline and to assassinate Qadaffi-like Libyan dictator Colonel Ali Rachid. The assassination plan? Rachid's old friend Nabih Haddad, in London for a brain operation, is secretly slipped an implant that makes him a zombie assassin--and unknowing agents Ray Wilson (UK) and Doug Shearer (US) are assigned to escort Haddad to Libya. . . where he indeed fatally shoots Rachid. So, after a brief imprisonment, both Wilson and Shearer are freed and given project #2: blowing up the pipeline--an assignment which involves one perilous hurdle after another as they evade P.L.O. pursuers and also attempt to distribute a secret stockpile of arms meant for the invasion of Iran (so that the Western allies can secure Iranian oil). Throughout, they are aided by redoubtable Arab agent Mukhtar (""the Magnificent"") and, later, by Leila, a British-educated Moslem whom Shearer falls for. And finally the duo is in the Karakumy desert--mining a Russian pumping station, jumping a Russian patrol, getting attacked, and then escaping to the US as they are themselves set up for an assassin (they know too much) by Higgs and Marshall. . . . Lots of action, a modicum of odd-couple amusement: fair fun for undemanding thriller fans.

Pub Date: Aug. 23rd, 1981
Publisher: McGraw-Hill