THE THIRD POWER by Neville Frankel

THE THIRD POWER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A busy, up-to-date, but clichÉd nuclear-disaster scenario for World War III. Zimbabwe (Rhodesia) Deputy Prime Minister Patti Sebakwe is about to step into the shoes of P. M. Wasuru (who has been assassinated) when he's kidnapped by the insurrectionist Minister of Police Colonel Jamabwe--who is secretly a Chinese Communist agent and the main engineer of the developing scenario. Jamabwe's air force, disguised as South African, flies into South Africa and destroys the S.A. air force. Oosthuizen of South Africa must retaliate and threatens not only to invade Zimbabwe, Angola, Zambia, and Mozambique but also to use its nuclear hardware obtained from Israel. The Soviets (also an unwitting part of the Chinese shell game) go onto full alert, positioning seven nuclear subs off Cape Cod and bringing another nuclear fleet off Ethiopia down toward South Africa, where the US Seventh Fleet is stationed. Meanwhile, US Prez Robertson, a second-term North Carolinian, flies to Johannesburg for a doomed ""Camp David"" accord, leaving hawkish V.P. Mitchell in charge. And, on a visit to a deep gold mine, Robertson is trapped underground when Chinese agents blow up dynamite and cause a cave-in. So--after some further outrages against US personnel--war is inevitable: South Africa launches its northward nuclear attack and the US and Soviet Union attack each other. Energetic nation-juggling and fantasy diplomacy--but with neither the ring of political truth nor the lure of good storytelling.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1980
Publisher: Beaufort (9 East 40th St., N.Y., N.Y. 10016)