SPHERE OF DEATH by Ray Harrison


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City of London's Police Sergeant Bragg and his aristocratic protÉgÉ and aide Constable James Morton (Tincture of Death, etc.) once again give their all for Queen (Victoria) and country. Morton has been secretly shanghaied into the service of Major Redman of Scotland Yard's Special Branch. He is to take the identity of a Swiss anarchist, then infiltrate the house where several self. proclaimed anarchists are living. Redman is convinced they're involved in a double-edged French plot to create havoc and unrest. It turns out, however, that there are other things on their agenda--under the direction of Franz Halder, a German whose huge, sadistic henchman, Hans Schelling, doesn't care in what cause he wreaks his savagery. Well-heeled American visitor Lee McCafferty represents the US ann of the Irish Fenian Brotherhood, while shrill Monique Laloux hopes to enlist Morton in her plan to kill off Russian aristocracy. There are also others, two of whom are killed in botched bombings after Morton's arrival. Finally a Complex attack plan centered on the Royal family takes shape, and Morton is able to make his move, complete his mission, and return to a more receptive Catherine Marsden and his relieved Sergeant. A dramatic finale, some tense moments as Morton struggles to maintain his cover, and a glancing look at some of the political rivalries leading to WW I hold the reader's interest through a choppy narrative with an overabundance of minor plots and characters. Less than the author's best, then, but entertaining enough to please both fans and newcomers.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1990
Publisher: St. Martin's