William H. Hallahan, Author
William H. Hallahan, Author William Morrow & Company $19.95 (348p) ISBN 978-0-688-08902-3
Reviewed on: 06/01/1989
Release date: 06/01/1989
Edgar-winner Hallahan ( Catch Me: Kill Me and Foxcatcher ) attempts to grapple, in fiction, with serious breaches of national security--the Soviet procurement of American high-tech secrets. Told with little style or humor, his novel takes shape as a plot in search of characters. When two agents lose yet another piece of American high-tech hardware to Soviet smugglers, Charlie Brewer is called in to protect the Cassandra project, a hardware/software package designed to enhance the nation's defensive computer systems. Early in his investigation, Brewer learns that the rash of thefts is the work of one brilliant man. By blackmailing disreputable American defense contractors and falsifying elaborate paper trails, Emil Gogol has managed to steal the latest developments in American defense technology. Arrogant and disdainful of his bureaucratic superiors, he knows that seizing the Cassandra project could be his ultimate coup. Failure, on the other hand, would ruin him. Just as Gogol prepares to make the heist, Brewer learns of his scheme. Though it is carefully thought out and tightly plotted, the novel's weak characterizations, particularly of the two central figures, fail to make this a convincing, let alone compelling, work of fiction. (June)
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