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Spearhead: A Novel

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More About This Book

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Driscoll ( The Wilby Conspiracy ) sets his new novel, a first-rate, professional, action thriller, in South Africa. The plot centers around Lincoln Kumalo, who resembles the real life-Nelson Mandela: he is a controversial black politician, kept in jail on meager charges for 25 years and now a rallying figure to all blacks and white liberals. News of Kumalo's imminent removal to a hospital for a cancer operation is interpreted by a confused prison orderly as a government plot to kill him. The rescue caper that ensues is expertly complicated and involves an international assortment of goodies and baddies, including a Jewish cancer surgeon (``a limousine liberal''), a disenchanted U.S. pilot, a bitter Afrikaaner colonel and an Irish adventurer who needs the sting money to save his farm back home. Though the author's sympathies seem clear, he uses the volatility of the South African situation more as a backdrop to drama than to champion a cause. The subplots of this clever cliff-hanger are impressively juggled, the dialogue good, the character vignettes often witty and the climax extraordinary. (Apr.)
Library Journal
What can the South African government do with a charismatic black leader who has been imprisoned for 25 years? If Nelson Kumalo is released, the anti-apartheid groups will score a media victory; if he continues to be imprisoned, he remains a powerful rallying symbol for the People's Congress. While the National Intelligence Service arranges Kumalo's death at the unwitting hands of an above-suspicion white liberal doctor during a cancer operation, a faction of the People's Congress hires an Irish mercenary to rescue Kumalo when he's sent outside the prison for surgery. Although Driscoll has assembled all the plot ingredients for the classic ``caper'' novel, the pieces somehow fail to come together. What could have been a soaring supersonic adventure story barely makes it off the end of the runway.-- John North, L.R.C., Ryerson Polytechnical Inst., Toronto
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316193412
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication date: 3/15/1992
  • Pages: 304

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