The Fires of Midnight

Joe Land, Author, Jon Land, Author Forge $22.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-312-85971-8
What begins with 1700 dead in a Cambridge, Mass., shopping mall ends with a spectacularly gory climax in Disney World as Land, author of numerous paperback thrillers (most recently, Kingdom of the Seven), makes his over-the-top hardcover debut. When Dr. Susan Lyle of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention arrives in Cambridge to investigate the mysterious deaths, this novel looks to shape up as yet another techno-thriller about yet another super-lethal disease. But expectations soon go awry as Land tosses in a career's worth of thriller standbys, beginning with a top-secret weapons-development agency called Group Six, plus an old Nazi geneticist and his ``sons'' (a 15-year-old lonely genius and a hideously deformed killer). Teaming up with Susan is ex-CIA agent Blaine McCracken and his colorful sidekicks (one of whom is a helicopter pilot named Harry Lime); also hanging about are some noble Sioux who live according to the old traditions and watch out for Blaine and Susan. The action leaps from Cambridge to Cuba to Key West to Colorado, before arriving at Disney World. There, the house the mouse built goes up in flames while a life-size, computerized T-rex runs amok and chomps on a villain. Fortunately, Land mixes his ingredients with a vigorous hand and cooks them at high heat, winding up with a zesty, if decidedly non-nutritious, mind-snack. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 12/04/1995
Release date: 12/01/1995
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