Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyMason's suspenseful debut depicts the international repercussions of a British securities expert's attempt to assassinate Saddam Hussein. (Jan.)
Library JournalA British businessman is approached in 1991 with a bizarre request: Would he assassinate Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein? The British government cannot be involved; the affair must be a ``private venture.'' Suitable capital for the task will be provided, and rewards are promised. The businessman agrees and proceeds to hire a security consultant, who finds operatives, devises a plan, and begins work. Eventually, he is successful in killing Hussein, and then the inevitable plot twist occurs. Although Mason has plugged into a popular fantasy and provided a plan of satisfactory intricacy, this first novel doesn't have much feel for dialog or motivation. Moreover, it plays unfairly with the reader and has ludicrously awful sex scenes. A low-priority purchase; some libraries with large budgets may be interested. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 7/93.-- Edwin B. Bur gess, U.S. Army TRALINET Ctr., Fort Monroe, Va.
Gilbert TaylorA lowly downlink operator of U.S. spy satellites espies trucks moving across the Iraqi desert and runs the fact up the line. National security types go into a frenzy of interrogatories regarding the infiltrators' identity. They conclude that those trucks contain Brits on a mission to murder that mustachioed madman Saddam Hussein. But the reader knew this long before the agents, for debut author (and ex-British sniper) Mason tips his hand straight off--tracking the mission from up close. The daring assassins calibrate rifle ballistics, forge documents, and brazen their way through trouble with sangfroid. Meanwhile, the downlink operator directs his Keyhole spacecraft, with its rumored ability to read license plates, to watch the squad's progress. For connoisseurs of special forces lore, Mason fires full-clip action Rambo style--without Rambo's resentment.
Emily MeltonMason is already being compared to Clancy and Forsyth; his book's been sold to publishers in 11 countries; and the film rights are going for "seven figures." All the hoopla may be justified--this first novel boasts a bizarre and imaginative plot, extraordinary suspense, and an overwhelming array of military detail. A mysterious, powerful someone with unlimited bucks wants Saddam Hussein dead. The request winds its way through a labyrinth of go-betweens until it reaches the ears of Ed Howard, a former royal marine who's tough, resourceful, and smart, with an incredible knowledge of the latest techno-gizmos in weaponry and covert operations. Howard's quickly assembled team of crack operatives finds that carrying out the dirty deed is harrowing, tedious, thankless work, but for a few cool million, they're willing to try. Mason's plot rockets along at supersonic speeds, and if the technical particulars are occasionally too intricate for normal humans to grasp, readers can always skip ahead to the next action-packed section, where they'll be off once again on a roller-coaster ride of white-knuckled suspense.
- Penguin Publishing Group
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 7.00(w) x 5.00(h) x 1.00(d)
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