THE VIPER by Larry Pryor

THE VIPER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

If Pryor can latch onto a relatively fresh plot, he might some day do for autoracing what Dick Francis has done for horse-racing. Here, alas, he--and his drivernarrator Gus Walter--are doing laps around the usual terrorist track. . . with CIA fuel stops along the way. Gus, newly-wedded to athlete Aimee (unbeknownst to Gus, she's a CIA agent), interrupts his honeymoon to fly off and become top test-driver for the off-rich Emir of Qataban on the Persian Gulf. The Emir's engineers have created a new car called ""The Viper,"" so Qataban has recruited a sterling international team of drivers--but is someone in Qataban using the team as a cover for terroristic plans? Who among Gus' fellow drivers is a terrorist hit-man (also called ""The Viper"")or an Israeli agent? Soon, on the Grand Prix track in Long Beach, Gus is being lethally nudged against the track wall, then is sharing a shootout-at-high-speed with two-dimensional super-woman Aimee. ""I had learned too much, and I was in the way of a well-financed international criminal organization."" With colorless lines like that, and the inevitable naughty-CIA disclosure at the end, only readers hungry for sheer automotive action will travel this circuit long enough to enjoy the inside-racing details that should have been used to texture a far more original scenario.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1978
Publisher: Harper & Row