STONE DANCER by Murray Smith


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British TV writer Smith's second foray into the world of international intrigue is built around the plot of a master counterfeiter to hold the US dollar for ransom and the plans of an unreconstructed KGB splinter group to turn his effort to their own purposes. Smith develops the action along three plotlines. Top British spy David Jardine's career is foundering, partially as the result of events in the first book (Devil's Juggler, 1993). He is therefore delighted to rush to Beirut when he receives a distress signal from an undercover agent he once recruited. But what he finds is that she has been a Mossad double agent all along, and he is informed of an impending financial assault by a legendary, and deadly, Israeli spook. Danny Davidov, a Mossad agent who was kicked out for skimming money off the top of an illegal funding operation, is behind the counterfeit scheme. He has pulled off several successful scares around the world already and, together with his partner, ex-KGB agent Nikolai Kolosov, is in the last stages of setting up his brilliant final caper. Meanwhile, in the States, a partially botched Secret Service sting operation brings Davidov to the attention of the Treasury Department, especially to the sharp eyes of Legal Department whiz Nancy Lucco (whose policeman husband was murdered in the first novel). Suspecting that he is dealing with a rogue element of the Mossad, a wary Jardine travels to Moscow and learns that Kolosov is actually in the employ of an ""old guard"" Communist faction dedicated to the overthrow of the new Russian government. What better way to achieve their ends than to utilize Davidov's scheme, not for ransom, but to wipe out the US economy and provoke worldwide financial disaster? A wild card in all this is the Mafia, more than a little unhappy about having been scammed themselves. Nicely cynical, with satisfying twists and turns.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1994
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Pocket