No Brakes

Lois Gould, Author
Lois Gould, Author Henry Holt & Company $22 (256p) ISBN 978-0-8050-4117-0
Reviewed on: 12/01/1970
Release date: 12/01/1941
Set around a three-day car rally in the vividly evoked damp, dark countryside of Northern Ireland, Gould's eighth novel (after Medusa's Gift) is a poetic if obscure thriller about international terrorism. Vibrant, narcissistic Ludo is as beautiful as his silver car. His navigator, the middle-aged American Mary Jo, is his lover, as well as the mother of his best friend, Sam. As the race twists over rainy back roads at killer speed, Mary Jo, obsessed as she is with their affair, slowly realizes that a larger and more deadly game is being played, and that Ludo may be at its heart. One of the racers turns out to be Princess Victoria, the notoriously public royal bad girl, who may be the target of terrorists--or who may hate her family enough to be a terrorist herself. Zan and Giles in the red Lotus may also be terrorists and not just kicky racers. More terrifying, Ludo's car may be carrying explosives. In New York, Sam is held hostage, but escapes. As in Gould's other novels, time is fluid, a stream of pungent details and sensations that appear and blow away. The story wraps up too neatly when, at the end of the race, Sean Harrison, Ireland's powerful entrepreneur, oversees a decadent ritual that precedes his daughter's wedding to one of Ludo's rally-driving buddies. The wedding is meant to be a cover for an international terrorist plot that involves plutonium running and the wild princess but, like other elements in this dark and daring story, it goes out with fizzle instead of a bang. Rights: Charlotte Sheedy. (Mar.)
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!