BN.com Gift Guide

Lacking Virtues

Overview

Steven LeConte has all the qualities that propel a young man to success. He is bright, handsome, charming . . . the list is long. Yet, at age 27, this scion of a prominent Connecticut family is teaching tennis in Paris. His journalistic aspirations have produced a few dazzling leads but not a single completed article. If he can take pride in one achievement, which he does not, it is the prodigious number of girls he has coaxed from the tennis club into his bed. A small inheritance from his aunt is nearly ...
See more details below
Paperback
$17.81
BN.com price
(Save 10%)$19.99 List Price
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (1) from $15.07   
  • New (1) from $15.07   
Sending request ...

Overview

Steven LeConte has all the qualities that propel a young man to success. He is bright, handsome, charming . . . the list is long. Yet, at age 27, this scion of a prominent Connecticut family is teaching tennis in Paris. His journalistic aspirations have produced a few dazzling leads but not a single completed article. If he can take pride in one achievement, which he does not, it is the prodigious number of girls he has coaxed from the tennis club into his bed. A small inheritance from his aunt is nearly exhausted; he faces an uncertain future. As if to highlight his professional shortcomings, he has befriended his neighbor, Sophie Marx, the retired Paris bureau chief of the New York Times. In contrast to his own lack of output, her freelance articles appear at a dizzy pace in the Western world's best newspapers and magazines.

Sophie has just embarked on a new venture: to chronicle the life of France's leading right-wing politician. At age 70, she is unable to do the legwork herself, and opts to involve Steven. It is an offer he can't refuse, though he isn't sure her plans meet even his own low moral standards. She wants him to go to the Riviera, where her subject's daughter is spending the summer. And then? He is to follow the guiding light of his golden schwanz (her terminology) and see if he can get close to the father through 19-year-old Nicole. His initial hesitation is quickly overcome by a photograph of this ravishing beauty. How could he have said No anyway: his soul mate, Sophie, will become his protégé and unlock the doors he has not been able to open on his own. Or such is his belief. He accepts, he succeeds - and falls deeply in love.

Simultaneously, a dark remnant of the Cold War makes its debut. An unemployed KGB agent, East German Walter Claussen, has become an entrepreneur in the new free market created by the collapse of the Soviet Union. He alone controls a weapon of mass destruction that has slipped beneath the radar of American intelligence: after the Cuban missile crisis, several of the best minds in the Kremlin developed the means to sabotage American jetliners, should the US ever decide to mount a conventional war in Europe. In France, Claussen finds a group willing to buy his services for their own political and financial gain.

American passenger jets undergo a series of deadly mishaps that seem unrelated. Frank Warner, the meticulous head of air crash investigations at the NTSB, is unable to find a common thread. The public experiences a collective fear of flying as never before. In a prelude to 9/11, the economy reels and the government - helped along by Claussen - becomes a blundering pawn of its own Iraq fixation. Warner is about to be fired and the wrong culprit is about to be incinerated in an eerie foreshadowing of the future. Then, at the eleventh hour, comes Steven's chance discovery: the usual Arab suspects are not behind the diabolical attack on American aviation. Sophie is unable to convince American government and intelligence officials of the truth, so set in their thinking are they. Near despair, with the clock running out, she remembers Frank Warner, an acquaintance from a previous collaboration. Warner, who is convinced, takes word of Steven and Sophie's discovery to a White House briefing, only to encounter war fever so virulent the facts fall on deaf ears.

Warner must go to France - to hell with his job description. He and Steven, in a series of harrowing surveillance attempts, come face-to-face with Claussen, a professional killer. It is a confrontation needed to prove the truth with concrete visible evidence, a confrontation in which someone must die. Can Steven, underachiever cum laude, succeed at last? And if he does, can he convince Nicole that his love for her - initially based on deception - is real? The suspense grows unbearable as we near a climax that will leave the reader emotionally spent, yet thoroughly exhilarated.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781461141426
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/27/2011
  • Pages: 586
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 1.19 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas Kirkwood is best known for his Cold War thrillers, The Quiet Assassin and The Svalbard Passage. Before moving to Amazon, Kirkwood was published by Macmillan, Collier Macmillan (Europe), Donald I. Fine (an imprint of Penguin), Signet (an imprint of NAL), Brilliance (audio), and Stjerne-Spenning (Europe). After many years in the EU, he now makes his home in Denver, Colorado.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 5, 2011

    It's Been a Long Time

    Yes, indeed. A very long time since I¿ve read a suspense type novel that has left me feeling at the end that I hadn¿t wasted my time. This book is written with such passion and such knowledge that it will put you in awe of what can still be done the old-fashioned way. If more novels could rise to this level, no one would be talking about the lack of reading in today¿s world.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 12, 2012

    Highly recommended

    You will lose an afternoon because you won't be able to put the book down. A great read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 5, 2011

    It's Been a Long Time

    Yes, indeed. A very long time since I¿ve read a suspense type novel that has left me feeling at the end that I hadn¿t wasted my time. This book is written with such passion and such knowledge that it will put you in awe of what can still be done the old-fashioned way. If more novels could rise to this level, no one would be talking about the lack of reading in today¿s world.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)