NIGHT TRAINS by Peter Heath Fine


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Not to be confused with a recent, identically titled novel about the Polish anti-Nazi underground (p. 712), this is a black-comic caper about a railroad shipment of plutonium that has been stolen by a band of Jesus freaks who are intent on helping God destroy sinful Las Vegas--they have rerouted the tank car carrying the deadly reactor fuel to Vegas, and, what's more, they have doubled up the plutonium with 40,000 pounds of radio-detonatable dynamite. Searching for the railroad car is Eddie Shigata, a Japanese-American field inspector for the Environmental Research and Development Agency, as well as an FBI team, plus alcoholic railroad security officer Mulloy. None of them is in connection with the others, and the reader follows each scurrying pack of bloodhounds as they scamper about the Western states, Mexico, and Canada in pursuit of the endlessly elusive car, which is only one of 1,700,000 cars now on the tracks. Mulloy is an ironic antihero, and much of the dialogue has a carefree outrage and sighful humor that may have some readers chuckling all the way into the big meltdown; an offbeat treatment of a standard basic plot, with extra appeal for railway buffs.

Pub Date: Sept. 24th, 1979
Publisher: Lippincott