Masquerade

Gayle Lynds, Author
Gayle Lynds, Author Doubleday Books $22.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-385-47961-5
Reviewed on: 01/01/1996
Release date: 01/01/1996
Mass Market Paperbound - 464 pages - 978-0-425-16019-0
Paperback - 978-0-425-16030-5
Mass Market Paperbound - 480 pages - 978-0-312-98603-2
Ebook - 480 pages - 978-1-4299-0686-9
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The publisher's claim that Lynds will be the ``first bestselling female author of international suspense'' is hollow-and a bit surprising, given that at least one bestselling female author of international suspense, Linda Davies (whose Wilderness of Mirrors is reviewed below), is a fellow Doubleday writer. But Lynds does an admirable job in her debut novel of aping some of the top male international suspense writers of our era, especially early Ludlum, as she tosses into a swiftly moving narrative stream a vast and dangerous conspiracy, an array of improbable coincidences, several rogue government agents, a legendary international assassin (the ``Carnivore'') and a nearly friendless innocent caught in the middle of it all. Amnesiac Liz Scarsborough awakens to a house and husband she can't remember, to be told that she's an ex-CIA agent who has been living in hiding from the Carnivore. Liz believes that story for only a little longer than readers will, and she soon finds herself on the run from a gallery of threatening figures, heading for Paris in the company of a very neatly introduced fellow agent and incipient love interest. The resourceful heroine is captured but escapes, is recaptured but escapes again, in a dizzying sequence of action scenes that eventually involves a doppelganger, mind-bending drugs and brainwashing. Thriller fans may not find plausibility in Lynds's first, but they certainly will find the sort of teeth-grinding suspense that they crave. Major ad/promo; author tour. (Feb.)
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