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False Flags

False Flags

by Russell Warren Warren Howe

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The premise of this competent post-Cold War spy tale is that secret agents of formerly hostile nations may harbor a certain collegial fondness for each other. Once players on opposing teams, American Alec and Russian Aleksei are now friends who reminisce about the tricks of the trade. Despite similar mindsets, the ex-spies are in very different situations: while Alec is comfortably well off, Aleksei has trouble living on his KGB pension. To earn a little money, Aleksei takes on a freelance assignment--preventing the launch of a commercial satellite from French Guiana. Suspicious of his anonymous employers, Aleksei asks Alec to stand by in case of emergency. And naturally, the unlucky Aleksei soon lands in hot water. After shooting a shoulder-launched rocket at the satellite, he finds himself in hiding, on the run from the French, British and American authorities and worried that he has been set up by his employer. He gets help from a sexy French ingenue named Agn s, but he needs Alec's professional backup to get him home. Alec, meanwhile, must at least pretend to help the authorities in their search for the terrorist responsible for the satellite's destruction. The mystery of Aleksei's employers is perhaps less compelling than the fun of the "tradecraft" involved in getting him out of French Guiana; the real delight here is in watching Agn s--a fairly plausible (if oversexed) bystander--learn the ins and outs of the spy world. Howe (Bestseller) packs a surprising amount of action and character into the novella's 150 pages, and musings on the importance of personal and professional loyalty (as opposed to arbitrary, dogmatic nationalism) lend this otherwise slight tale a real intelligence and depth. (Feb. 1) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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Novella Club Publishers, The
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