THE DEVIL'S FOOTPRINT by Victor O'Reilly

THE DEVIL'S FOOTPRINT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Irish hardcase Hugo Fitzduane goes another resourceful round with the Japanese terrorists he fought to a bloody standstill in Rules of the Hunt (1995). Invited to Washington for briefings by a Congressional subcommittee committed to keeping constant pressure on the Global Village's anti-Western outlaws, the newly married laird of Duncleeve Island comes to America with his pregnant wife Kathleen, the fair colleen who nursed him back to health after his close-quarters encounter with the violent nihilists of Yaibo (a.k.a. Cutting Edge). While Hugo (an adjunct officer in the Irish Rangers) checks out an arms expo held at Fort Bragg, however, the terrorists strike the airborne base and its host community. Led by the vengeful Reiko Oshima, a Yaibo hit squad wreaks gory havoc, kidnaps Kathleen, and retires to a well-equipped military installation (called the Devil's Footprint) in Mexico's desert highlands. Among the more modern conveniences at this south-of-the-border facility are long-range cannons that Oshima (whose lover was slain by Hugo) and the breakaway state's strongman ordered built to rain death and destruction on American cities. Desperate to spike the superguns, US officials (hobbled by a hands-off-Mexico policy) provide Hugo with covert assistance for a rescue mission to the remote redoubt. He leads a shoot-and-scoot raid that flees the imaginatively mistreated Kathleen but leaves the crafty Oshima alive and the ultraheavy artillery apparently operable. Finally convinced that America faces a clear and present danger, the wimpy President dispatches Special Forces to wipe out the Devil's Footprint. In the course of an apocalyptic assault, elite military units lay waste to the Yaibo, and Hugo has a climactic confrontation with Oshima. Although O'Reilly includes a rather full measure of preachments on the West's indifference to the latter-day threat of terrorism, he tells a mean adventure story--chock-full of high-tech power and chivalric glory.

Pub Date: Jan. 29th, 1997
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Putnam