Kirkus Star


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Everybody wins in this terrifically funny spy thriller from the author of Head of State (1985), Cool Runnings (1984), etc. Neo-capitalists and hot entrepreneurial ideas abound in post-Mao, post-modern China, but there's not enough cash to do what's got to be done. So, sidestepping the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and running-dog commercial banks, the Reds are out to tickle American capital markets for half a billion dollars under the counter. The tickle is wondrously complicated, involving the offer of Chinese state secrets to the CIA and eventually reaching Clint and Flub Bonner, a couple of oil-rich, fun-loving, middle-aged Texas orphans, by way of Mr. Sing Sing Boyd, a Eurasian producer of kung fu movies. Mr. Boyd's maneuverings also suck in Susan Wu, an ambitious actress from Boyd's own studio; Lucien Salvant, a restless refugee from academia; Gene Holt, a Vesco type with bucks to spend; Pak Tze Fan, CEO of a fabulously rich gang of Hong Kong criminals; Ella Nidech, American spy on the rise; and James Burlane, the CIA's very best man of action. Burlane and Nidech, at odds throughout all of this sensational nonsense, turn out to be the hottest new pair in the world of spy fiction. Also making appearances are the deaf, anecdotal, cookie-munching President of the United States, and Deng Xiaoping's benignly devious older brother. The scenes with the President are unspeakably funny. Damned near perfect.

Pub Date: Nov. 17th, 1986
Publisher: Tot--dist. by St. Martin's