Villiger

Julian Jay Savarin, Author
Julian Jay Savarin, Author St. Martin's Press $18.95 (315p) ISBN 978-0-312-05532-5
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-06-100476-6
Hardcover - 384 pages - 978-0-7278-5517-6
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Irascible and suspicious even at his best, secret agent-turned-photographer Gordon Gallagher is on guard from the moment a beautiful ex-lover pops back into his life with a lot of questions. The Department, his former employer, seems as baffled as he. While photographing dikes and canals in Amsterdam, he is contacted by an old friend he thought long dead, former Afrikaner secret agent Piet Villiger, now fighting the South African government. Asking Gallagher to keep an eye on his stunning aide, whose loyalty he doubts, Villiger reveals plans to acquire a jet fighter for his cause; then he disappears. Things eventually come to a head on a yacht off Crete, where the true intentions of the ruthless arms merchant with whom Villiger has been dealing are revealed. Savarin ( Naja ) refers so often to Gallagher's earlier escapades that new readers may feel they've walked into a movie several minutes late; also cinematic are the numerous car chases with teams of assassins or would-be protectors either trailing or chasing Gallagher around the Netherlands and Belgium. Savarin creates some interesting characters and his conclusion is fittingly violent and exciting, but the book overall is oddly flat and uninvolving. (Feb.)
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