The Devils Tiger

The Devils Tiger

by Robert Flynn, Dan Klepper
     
 


What if post-Soviet Union Russia sent biological warfare missiles to the United States, only this time the missiles were animals infected with a virulent form of rickettsia? That's the premise behind this suspense-filled novel from one of Texas’ best-known authors.

Hunter Jacob Trace is peacefully trapping mountain lions miles away in the Big Bend when

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Overview


What if post-Soviet Union Russia sent biological warfare missiles to the United States, only this time the missiles were animals infected with a virulent form of rickettsia? That's the premise behind this suspense-filled novel from one of Texas’ best-known authors.

Hunter Jacob Trace is peacefully trapping mountain lions miles away in the Big Bend when violent turbulence rocks a DC-10 on a cross-Atlantic flight. Just as Trace is unaware of the strange turns his life is about to take, the crew is unaware that three rare Siberian tigers in the hold, being sent to U.S. zoos in Houston, San Diego, and Seattle as part of a breeding program, have been jolted out of their cages. When one tiger makes its way to the cabin, the excitement and terror begin. The plane, unable to land in Houston because of bad weather, crashes in Corpus Christi Bay, its pilots killed by the tiger, its passengers terrified. Although many passengers survive the crash, including Arina Yeroskin, the Russian woman veterinarian accompanying the animals, the tigers are presumed dead. But are they?

First a tiger is sighted near Padre Island, then a man is killed on a river bottom near Aransas Pass. When a prize bull is slaughtered in Jim Wells County to the southeast, it’s apparent the tiger is traveling far and fast—or is it a second tiger? Other incidents—a woman attacked in her home, a tiger invading a cantina—lead to widespread hysteria and a real concern about how many tigers are loose in South Texas and how many died in the plane crash. The North American Zoological Association hires Trace to stalk the tigers and capture them alive, but he’s not the only one on the feline trail. Right-wing militia, convinced the tigers are part of a UN plot and spurred on by an anonymous benefactor, want to find and kill the tigers. Evelyn Price and Rand Morgan, representing NAZA, have their own agendas. Rand wants to capture the tigers to advance his career; Evelyn, passionate about animal rights, plots to free the cats. Eventually officials of the Mexican government are also in on the chase, hoping to kill the tigers and return their ashes to Russia for a reward. Only Arina Yeroskin and the reader know why the post-communist Russian government wants their prize animals dead, not alive. Even when survivors of tiger attacks die of “complications,” one after the other, only Arina suspects that the tigers were infected to serve as biological weapons by right-wing scientists hoping to restore communism in Russia. The suspense of the tiger hunt is surpassed only by the spine-tingling terror of a tiger stalking its victim be it human or the tracking dogs that fall prey.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Texas author Flynn (Wanderer Springs) coauthors this novel with the late Dan Klepper, but even their combined efforts cannot rescue this lukewarm muddle of international brinkmanship, redneck militia action and man-eating tiger adventure from mediocrity. In the late 1980s, renegade Russian scientists conducting illegal biological warfare research infect three Siberian tigers with a deadly disease in a vague and improbable plot to trigger a confrontation with the U.S. and restore the power and prestige of the Soviet Union. The tigers are a gift to the Americans, but the airplane carrying the animals to the Houston zoo crashes and the tigers--hungry and looking for trouble--escape into the West Texas wilderness. Public hysteria, political dithering and the pro-gun lobby soon have people terrified, shooting at shadows and each other. Noted Texas hunter Jacob Trace is hired to capture the tigers, but he has never tackled cats quite like these before--nor is he informed that they are carriers of a biological disaster. Aided by a cynical female Russian veterinarian, Dr. Arina Yeroskin, as well as a pudgy, self-serving zoo official, an arrogant and ambitious environmentalist and a resourceful helicopter pilot, Trace tracks the tigers all over Texas and into Mexico. He always seems to be one meal behind them, however, as they eat their way through a human smorgasbord of hobos, ranchers, fishermen and housewives. Complicating the hunter's pursuit are wild gun battles with cartoonishly corrupt Mexican police and hopelessly inept antigovernment militiamen. It may be equipped with plenty of action, a bit of sermonizing, lots of gore and some sappy romance, but even the best tracker will be hard-pressed to bag any suspense, chills or thrills in this tepid melodrama. Regional author tour. (Sept.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780875652245
Publisher:
Texas Christian University Press
Publication date:
07/01/2000
Pages:
362
Product dimensions:
6.44(w) x 9.34(h) x 1.11(d)

Meet the Author


Robert Flynn is the author of five novels, including the award-winning Wanderer Springs and North to Yesterday, two short-story collections, a memoir about the war in Vietnam, and a book for children. Retired as writer-in-residence at Trinity University, he makes his home in San Antonio.

The late Dan Klepper was a well-known outdoor writer for the San Antonio Express-News. In addition to writing five columns a week, Klepper contributed stories to several national outdoor magazines and was the author of The 13th Month and Pocketguide to Deer Hunting, from Kill to Kitchen.

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