White Light

Campbell Armstrong, Author
Campbell Armstrong, Author William Morrow & Company $18.95 (381p) ISBN 978-0-688-07701-3
Reviewed on: 09/01/1988
Release date: 09/01/1988
This thriller lives up to the name and is also a wonderful puzzle that keeps us guessing almost until the end. Estonian Communist Party boss Romanenko, on a trade mission to Britain, is shot to death in Edinburgh's railway station. His Scotland Yard bodyguard Frank Pagan immediately nabs the assassin, an Estonian-American loner named Kiviranna, but Pagan is thwarted when Kiviranna commits suicide. In quick succession Pagan meets Kristina Vaska, daughter of an Estonian dissident, is shunted off the case by British Intelligence and is almost killed by a KGB assassin. An old Estonian patriotic poem carried by Romanenko and Kristina's tale of a Baltic, anti-Soviet ``Brotherhood'' intrigue Pagan, as does the beautiful Kristina. The marvelously intricate plot involves American fund-raisers for the Brotherhood, a Baltic uprising, reactionary Party members plotting against glasnost and collusion between American cold-warriors and Stalinist Russians. The twists and turns will keep readers rapt, as will a large, colorful cast of characters, especially dying ex-KGB chief Greshko and shadowy, sybaritic U.S. spymaster Galbraith. Armstrong is the pseudonym for Campbell Black ( Brainfire , Jig ) who has here produced a compulsively readable tale. BOMC and Mysterious Book Club alternates. (September)
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