The Running Target

Gerald Seymour, Author
Gerald Seymour, Author William Morrow & Company $19.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-688-05201-0
Reviewed on: 01/30/1990
Release date: 02/01/1990
Ordered to ``shape up'' his field agents, Mattie Furniss takes a perilous trip to the Middle East as this outstanding thriller begins. Mattie heads up the Iran Desk of Britain's Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), and only Charlie Eshraq has been providing him with first-rate information. Charlie, a young Iranian living in London, is driven by the need to avenge the execution of his family. His espionage allows him to find out who was responsible--and also to smuggle back heroin to pay for weapons. The high-quality smack kills the daughter of England's defense secretary, and Customs agent David Park is ordered to ferret out the smuggler. Charlie falls into further jeopardy when Iranian agents in Turkey kidnap Mattie, who, after enduring torture by a suitably brutal ``investigator,'' reveals his agent's plans. Mattie escapes and flees to Turkey, but before he is deemed a hero, he must be debriefed. Seymour ( An Eye for an Eye ) writes with unforgettable irony, brilliantly illuminating the stupidity of SIS, the brutal obsession of Park and the agony of Mattie's wife Harriet. Quick cuts and code names make for slightly bumpy reading at first, but the end result is a gem. BOMC alternate. (Feb.)
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