The Enemy Within

Larry Bond, Author, Patrick Larkin, Author, Patrick Larkin, Joint Author Grand Central Publishing $32 (496p) ISBN 978-0-446-51676-1
Remember how almost everyone jumped to the conclusion that Arab terrorists were responsible for the Oklahoma City bombing? Bond's compulsively readable new thriller (after Cauldron) takes that supposition and turns it on its head. In this up-to-the-minute suspense novel, America is under terrorist attack by agents of Iran, and the government is being led to believe that domestic racist and militarist groups are at fault. It's all part of a master plan cooked up by Iran's new military leader, the Western-trained General Amir Taleh, whose old friend and opposite number, Delta Force veteran Lt. Colonel Peter Thorn, is the chief victim of his deception. Stuck in a desk job tracking foreign terrorists while children are slaughtered, churches are blown up and race riots erupt across the country, Thorn uses his special relationship with FBI Agent Helen Gray to find out who is responsible for the growing chaos. As usual, Bond manages to make his story exciting, frightening and full of action. Like Tom Clancy, he paints a broad canvas filled with tight close-ups, a technique that energizes the narrative and gives it a wide-ranging, expansive feel. Unusual for this genre is the nuanced characterization, especially that of Helen Gray, which should broaden Bond's appeal to female readers. The topical plot is constructed for speed and action rather than polemic; while Bond makes frequent reference to freedoms that Americans allegedly take for granted, such background detail never gets in the way of his expert storytelling. It's a sure bet that this, like the author's previous books, will climb bestseller lists. Major ad/promo. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/18/1996
Release date: 03/01/1996
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