Perpignon Exchange

Warren Kiefer, Author
Warren Kiefer, Author Dutton Books $19.95 (306p) ISBN 978-1-55611-227-0
Reviewed on: 12/01/1990
Release date: 12/01/1990
Kiefer ( Outlaw ) combines a timely theme with an offbeat protagonist to produce a fast-reading, entertaining thriller. Narrator Dahoud el Beida, aka David Perpignon per his forged passport, is on the run from Egyptian authorities and his overbearing wife, Solange, when his flight from Athens to Vienna is hijacked. His Palestinian passport wins him the terrorists' approbation; the brutal leader asks him to help display dead bodies at various airports on the way to Libya. This puts Beida on the front page of every newspaper around the world and makes him a hero to top terrorist Kahlil Mulduum, who asks Beida to deliver luggage to one of ``their own'' in Malta. But Beida's window of escape slams shut at the Maltese airport when the beleaguered flimflam man is hauled in by CIA agents and offered the Hobson's choice of a U.S. trial or a mission in Libya. He chooses the latter, hoping to outwit Mulduum, flee and resume life as Perpignon. But Solange turns up to sponge off his ``fame,'' and U.S. operatives posing as businessmen pressure him into aiding their daring plan to rescue hostages from an ancient dungeon. A whirlwind of dangers meets Beida at every turn. Readers who can muster a mild suspension of disbelief will be rewarded with a sensational ending. (Dec.)
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