RED CARD by Richard Hoyt


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Here's a terrorist with a sense of propriety: Before launching attacks against players in soccer's World Cup, he sends yellow penalty cards -- warnings of serious fouls meriting ejection -- to the German and American teams. The officials of FIFA (the International Federation of Football Associations) decline to cancel the matches, and the man who calls himself Edson kills two German stars after their victory over South Korea in the Cotton Bowl, then wreaks more havoc just before the Americans' game against Holland in Giants Stadium. It's up to James Burlane, FIFA's choice to head the investigation, to learn enough about Edson's identity, motives, and methods to head him off before the next round of penalty cards. He can begin by figuring out what Juan Carlos Rodriguez, vengeful owner of Argentina's club, Independiente, and FIFA Emergency Commission chair Sir Roger Dusenberry have to do with Edson. Hoyt (Bigfoot, 1992, etc.) turns in a tidy, clever performance that lacks the overscaled assurance of the anti-terrorist classics. Despite itspro forma hype -- the final confrontation is billed as ""the defenders of Rowayton versus the devil's striker"" -- this isn't any more exciting than the World Cup games Edson disrupts.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1994
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Forge -- dist. by St. Martin's