China Lake

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Jack Tannis ended his day like any other. Then the phone rang. The caller, who would not give his name, teased him with another: David Harper.

Suddenly, Tannis was thrust back to his days as security director at China Lake, the U.S. Naval Weapons Center. In 1961, duplicates of the first heat-seeking air-to-air missile, the Sidewinder, began appearing on Soviet MiG fighters. ...
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1992 Hard cover New in new dust jacket. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. Audience: General/trade. A First class thriller.....

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New York 1992 Hard cover First edition. New in fine dust jacket. BOOK IS NEW, THE DUST JACKET SHOWS SOME RUB WEAR 338 P.

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1st Edition, Fine/Fine- DJ rear cover slightly rubbed, o.w. clean, bright and tight. No ink names, tears, chips, foxing, etc. Price unclipped. Author's First Novel. ISBN 0679410848

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Jack Tannis ended his day like any other. Then the phone rang. The caller, who would not give his name, teased him with another: David Harper. Suddenly, Tannis was thrust back to ... his days as security director at China Lake, the U.S. Naval Weapons Center. In 1961, duplicates of the first heat-seeking air-to-air missile, the Sidewinder, began appearing on Soviet MiG fighters. British scientist David Harper was accused of revealing its design to the Russians. Jack Tannis cleared his name. The case was never solved. With dizzying speed the past comes back to life...a body found in the night desert...a special navy team rushed in to investigte the murder...a beautiful woman's mysterious outpost in the desert...and David Harper, the key to everything, joining Tannis to ferret out the force behind the secret that started it all.... Read more Show Less

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Overview

Jack Tannis ended his day like any other. Then the phone rang. The caller, who would not give his name, teased him with another: David Harper.

Suddenly, Tannis was thrust back to his days as security director at China Lake, the U.S. Naval Weapons Center. In 1961, duplicates of the first heat-seeking air-to-air missile, the Sidewinder, began appearing on Soviet MiG fighters. British scientist David Harper was accused of revealing its design to the Russians. Jack Tannis cleared his name. The case was never solved.

With dizzying speed the past comes back to life...a body found in the night desert...a special navy team rushed in to investigte the murder...a beautiful woman's mysterious outpost in the desert...and David Harper, the key to everything, joining Tannis to ferret out the force behind the secret that started it all....
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Hyde, whose The Red Fox was a critical and popular success in 1985, is not exactly prolific; this is only his second novel. But he puts his time to good use. China Lake is a highly assured performance--intricately plotted, psychologically astute and written with often startling power. The title refers to a weapons-testing center in the California desert, where early American missiles were tested. Years ago, British scientist David Harper was accused of selling his country's secrets to the Soviet Union, but base security officer Jack Tannis believed in his innocence and helped to clear him. Now, a mysterious stranger calls Tannis, wanting to talk about ``the old days,'' and mentions Harper's name, but when Tannis goes to meet him he finds a corpse. After this mysterious beginning, the plot winds through revelations about WW II concentration camps and the German rocket scientists, the suicide of Harper's wife in Wales, a bicycle chase in rural East Germany, two rivetingly exciting narrow escapes from death for Harper himself and an eerie and fateful conclusion in a remote desert cave. There are a beautifully physical love affair and one of the most convincingly rendered drug trips in fiction. But above all it is Hyde's evocation of the unforgiving desert, especially its forbiddingly dark nights, that lifts the novel far above conventional suspense fiction. (May)
Kirkus Reviews
A long-thought-out espionage tale, about a dense and tangled search into the past that means to reveal something about the dense and tangled nature of man himself. Hyde (The Red Fox, 1985) again echoes le Carr‚'s bathysphere style and bottomless paragraphs, those shining flakes of analysis that lead into ever deeper analysis. Here, someone is out to kill retired naval security officer Jack Tannis, who lives near the China Lake Weapons Center in California's Mojave Desert. It was at China Lake that the air-to-air, heat-seeking Sidewinder missile, which gave total air superiority to US jet fighters, was invented and developed in the 50's. Somehow the Russians came up with an identical missile. China Lake scientist David Harper was set up to take the fall as the sellout spy. But intelligence officer Jack Tannis stood up for Harper, proved his innocence. Even so, Harper, discredited, lost all hope of pursuing a scientific career, went home to England, and became a nature photographer for public television. His wife Diana divorced him. Now, in 1985, Tannis finds himself almost assassinated in the desert; and then in the Welsh countryside, while hanging from a cliff-face and filming a rare eagle in flight, Harper too is the victim of an attempted murder. But...was he saved by a rope thrown to him by Tannis, whom he's not seen in 25 years? Tannis is gifted with somewhat magical powers of deduction, whose unleavings we follow inward leaf by leaf—a kind of parallel power to Harper's gift for semimagical infrared guidance systems. Harper's ex-wife Diana commits suicide but leaves behind a letter that eventually drives Harper into East Berlin and a search through the German rocket museum atDorn, then to a cave on the rim of China Lake—where Tannis unknots the great mystery of Harper's life. Though its final unravelings become quite thin, and whether Hyde's endless deductive style really holds is questionable, this is a winner. Anyone reading to the end is presold on the genre and knows its shortfall.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679410843
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/28/1992
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Pages: 337

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