ASWAN HIGH by R. E. & James A. Young Harrington


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Harrington, once a major promising suspense talent (Quintain, Death of a Patriot), has turned to uninspired fare--and a British publisher--lately; just a few months after the routine dynasty-saga Proud Man (p. 199) comes this foolish formula-thriller written in collaboration with a physicist. In 1967 a workman on the Aswan Dam is bribed--by some very Jewish-looking gentlemen--into adding some special stones into the dam construction. A potential bomb? Of course. But now it's 1984, Israel and Egypt are coexisting, and one of the secret bomb-masterminds--Israeli physicist Isaac Altmann--leaves a deathbed message for daughter Rebekah and American friend Philip Burton: ""See Moses and Ben Danger. . . Aswan destroy code."" So Rebekah and Philip start figuring things out: the radio-signal detonation code is in three parts, each in the possession of the three bomb-planners, Isaac and his old Irgun cronies Moses and Ben! Meanwhile, however, super-terrorist Shukri Rifaat has also learned of the planted Aswan bomb--and wants to detonate it: ""we would have done with the traitor Shagaa [a Sadat-like Egyptian prez] and we would arouse the world against the Jews."" Thus, while Rebekah and Philip (new lovers) are busy destroying the code and warning the Egyptians, the terrorists are torturing and killing in order to get the code. And eventually the dam will indeed be decimated, creating a watery/disaster background for the comic-bookish showdown between the terrorist and the heroes. Harmless, fairly lively nonsense--heavy on Fu Manchu-ish dialogue (""Now I shall have the pleasure of killing the Zionist woman and the American pig she travels with"") and lethal helicopters.

Pub Date: July 1st, 1983
Publisher: Secker & Warburg--dist. by David & Charles