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This time around, Shreve (The Phoenix With Oily Feathers, 1980) writes about a wealthy American writer living in Ireland who's sucked into The Troubles after learning that he may have underwritten the murder of Lord Louis Mountbatten. Irish-American author Mark Raven lives in his family's ancestral County Sligo home, which he has restored with the earnings from his tremendously successful books. A WW II hero raised in America by his actor father, Raven has been playing lord of the manor and generously donating money to an IRA organization in the vague belief that he is doing something nice for Irish independence. Alas, he has been doing something nice for the goons who have successfully planned the execution of Raven's neighbor, the Earl Mountbatten of Burma. Raven vows to himself--and to his new pacifist lady friend--that he will never again donate so much as a penny. But British intelligence agents who know of his foolishness recruit him in a plan to catch the murderers--a plan requiring Raven to fork over $100,000 demanded by the IRA. The money is the final bit of financing for the IRA's purchase of high-tech weapons from Libya to be transhipped by a Russian submarine. The British have bought into an enormously complex Israeli plan to hijack both the money and the weapons. Raven, whose ladylove has learned of the donation (but not the reason for it) and rejected him, and whose cardiologist has warned of possible cardiac arrest, stays in the battle to the end. Lots of action, but absolutely everybody is, without exception, a stuffed shirt. Fun for the humorless.

Pub Date: March 16th, 1989
Publisher: St. Martin's