Gatekeeper

Philip Shelby, Author
Philip Shelby, Author Simon & Schuster $25 (336p) ISBN 978-0-684-84260-8
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-671-57679-0
Mass Market Paperbound - 448 pages - 978-0-671-01392-9
Ebook - 336 pages - 978-0-684-86476-1
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-671-04691-0
Book - 978-0-7435-4755-0
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Clever, atmospheric and adroitly paced, Shelby's new thriller (after Lost Rights) features yet another plucky heroine caught in the toils of intrigue. Hollis Fremont, a functionary at the American embassy in Paris, is duped by her superior and boyfriend, Paul McGann, into accompanying a man she believes to be a small-fry criminal back to the States for country-club prison incarceration. In fact, the rumpled expat turns out to be ""the Handyman,"" a freelance assassin on a mission. At Kennedy Airport the Handyman bolts and disappears, and Hollis falls under the protective wing of Sam Crawford (the Gatekeeper of the title), who is an agent for the mysterious Omega group. While the Handyman stalks his quarry around the Statue of Liberty, Hollis and her ""friends"" (Crawford, gruff NYPD officer Harry Jacoby, longtime surrogate father Dawson Wylie and McGann) try to track him down. As the Handyman closes in on his victim, Hollis learns more truth than she's prepared for about the death of her father, and about her family's ties to Omega and the Handyman himself. Shelby's intelligence insiders are a throwback to the heyday of le Carr and Forsyth (albeit a simpler, less polished crew). With its transatlantic, high-speed Day of the Jackal chronology and sympathetic heroine, an ordinary woman of extraordinary resilience playing her small part on the world stage, this thriller is just the ticket for readers with international-conspiracy paranoia. (July)
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