PANGOLIN by Peter Driscoll


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Pangolin"" (a furry little nocturnal anteater that rolls into a ball when threatened) is the code name for Rodney Kiley, top CIA section chief in the Far East, stationed in Hong Kong. Kiley's job is naturally all-consuming, so wife Ailsa feels neglected--and when she meets her old lover, journalist Alan Pritchard, the affair is resumed. More importantly, however, Pritchard, in a financial mess now that he's been fired from his hack job on a Chinese paper, is in a position to kidnap Kiley, who's worth at least $10 million to the CIA. With his boorish friend Baxter, Pritchard plans to nab Kiley but use Manila's Moro National Liberation Front as a front: for half of the loot, the MNLF will play the official role of kidnapper and demander of ransom. Can this kidnapping be carried off as planned? Hardly. The MNLF tries to doublecross Pritchard, there's an unhelpful typhoon, and Chinese Intelligence gets into the act; they've been feeding Kiley false information about their nuclear program, so they're interested in keeping him at his station. Uninspired, perhaps, but Driscoll's African/Asian intrigues (this is his fifth) are always strong on atmosphere, well-constructed, and unusually conscientious when it comes to characterization. A solid entry for fans of the genre.

Pub Date: April 9th, 1979
Publisher: Lippincott