Ah, Treachery!

Ross Thomas, Author
Ross Thomas, Author Mysterious Press $21.95 (274p) ISBN 978-0-89296-452-9
Reviewed on: 10/31/1994
Release date: 11/01/1994
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-446-40031-2
Hardcover - 381 pages - 978-0-7862-0384-0
Paperback - 292 pages - 978-0-312-32704-0
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-4299-8164-4
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Past and present sins involving covert army operations and shady campaign financing give rise to murder in this sprightly new suspense thriller from two-time Edgar winner Ross (Voodoo, Ltd.). In 1989, army major Edd ``Twodees'' Partain took part in an illegal operation in El Salvador that his former comrades now want expunged from the record. Meanwhile, top political fund-raiser Millicent Altford needs to recover $1.2 million in stolen under-the-table contributions. These two scenarios dovetail as Altford engineers to have Partain, who was drummed out of the service for assaulting a superior officer, fired from his job in a Wyoming gun store in order to hire him to ``ride shotgun'' as she goes after the loot. As their associates begin meeting violent, sometimes shockingly brutal, ends, Partain and Altford seek to flush out their enemies (among whom military honchos figure prominently), recover the money and keep themselves alive. Set primarily in L.A. and D.C., Thomas's yarn reaffirms his expertise at the black-humored political thriller, from the sarcastic title and swift pacing through the acronym for a veterans' outfit (Victims of Military Intelligence Treachery) to Altford's offhand remark that ``Little Rock'' is ``real, real grateful for the two hundred and fifty-four thousand I bundled up for them, not the party, just three days after the New Hampshire primary.'' As usual with Thomas, the plotting is intricate and nearly as difficult to follow as that of his fellow iconoclast Carl Hiaasen, but readers willing to stick with his unpredictable, sometimes loopy story line will surely enjoy the ride. Major ad/promo. (Nov.)
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