GADGET by Nicolas Freeling
Kirkus Star


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Freeling moves from straight suspense to a science thriller and keeps his kinkiness intact. His style has the myopic close-detail of a drunk studying the cogs and pivots of a Swiss watch. Jim Hawkins, a minor nuclear physicist in Hamburg, awakens to find he's been drugged and kidnapped by terrorists who have collected enough fissionable uranium and other materials to homemake an Abomb, with Jim's help. To ensure his cooperation, they've also taken his wife and two kids. Step by step we watch Jim build his bomb while he and his wife are fed extraordinary wines and gourmet foods (all viands are described exquisitely, as if to compensate for space lavished on ""gadget""-building), When his wife escapes, she finds that no authority will listen to her. And, as a precaution, the terrorists move their plant. Meanwhile, heads of state from around the world, including our own President, are gathering at Lake Geneva, the very place the terrorists plan to vaporize (they're not after money, they're making a great big object lesson). And what Freeling hath set in motion, he is not about to abort for any sentimental readers. Not original, but brilliant indeed with loads of nature-description in a green and yellow melancholy.

Pub Date: Nov. 28th, 1977
Publisher: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan