A PRIVATE VENDETTA by Roderick Grant


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Three murders and a shoot-out--that's really all there is to say about this unusually bare and linear tale of vengeance in Cyprus, Greece, and London. Richard Barker, wealthy British import-export man, hears that his soldier brother Jonathan has been accidentally killed in Cyprus (in the crossfire of a local feud)--but then he receives a letter from Jonathan's Cypriot girlfriend Maria revealing that Jonathan was actually tortured and murdered by her would-be fiancÉ and his two hideous brothers. So Richard fabricates a business trip and heads for Cyprus, where he and Maria join forces to kill the three Tengerakis brothers. First to die is coppermine supervisor Andreas: Richard poses as an English geologist, and there's an axe-and-knife drag-out scuffle down in the mine before Richard and Maria finally land the are in Andreas' skull. Then they sail for Greece (becoming lovers on the way), where the second brother succumbs after a scenic car chase that nearly kills them all. Back to London for murder #3: Richard makes a date with remaining brother Stephanides, a bartender/homosexual-hustler, persuades him to take a bath, then fries him by tossing an electric heater into the filled tub. But the dead brothers have lots of friends, so Maria is killed back in Cyprus, and Richard finds himself stalked, even on his English estate, by swarthy assassins. ""Was any man's life--even that of my own brother--worth this chain of revenge I had forged?"" That's the theme, but it doesn't pack much of a punch, and the characterless narration--despite the trick of switching from first person to third for the murder action--is more stolid than stark. Inoffensively plain fare for action addicts only.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1978
Publisher: Scribners