Email this review


Washington-based columnist Kilian (Who Runs Chicago?, 1979) uses the same central device here for doomsday-espionage that Robert Moss explored more thoroughly in Death Beam (p. 1029). Yes, the charged-particle-beam, anti-missile weapon (""Valkyrie"") is again in Soviet hands, and a Third World War is inevitable if the Reds manage to set up a North Atlantic station for their weapon on an unpatroled Icelandic coast. But Geir Krog, a hiking enthusiast and Deputy Leader of the Workers' and Farmers' Party (as well as a leading hydroelectric engineer), is onto the Soviet need for massive electric power to work the Valkyrie. So Colonel Emil Jahn (KGB--failing to find Geir--frames him for the murder of girlfriend Inge, turning Geir into a fugitive. Meanwhile, the CIA is also onto Valkyrie: they send alcoholic, doomed journalist Jack Spencer (who may die at any moment from an inoperable vascular flaw in a brain artery) to Iceland under the cover of writing an article. There he gets gorgeous Elizabet Bjornsdottir, Icelandic Airlines stewardess-poet-model, to help hun look into the hydroelectric plants. In the country their car is shot at; Spencer and Elizabet become lovers. And finally, while that KGB man graphically tortures Geir's girlfriend Evi Kekkonen to smoke Geir out, CIA femme fatale Karen Nielsen also arrives--for a shootout/nautical windup with the ultimate destruction of Valkyrie. Standard kiss-kiss-bang-bang fare, with some off-putting sadistic touches and one implausible plot contrivance after another.

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 1981
Publisher: St. Martin's