The Hour of the Lily

John Kruse, Author St. Martin's Press $18.95 (438p) ISBN 978-0-312-01129-1
The Russian invasion of Afghanistan is the bloody background for this densely written epic novel. Swashbuckling, unforgettable Ghoram Khan is a rebel whose life is dedicated to the Afghan resistance and to combatting the Russians who have savaged his wife and leveled his village. His nemesis, Russian army official Andrei Yakushev, has lost his own wife to Khan, locking these opposing leaders in a bitter fight to the death. They are symbols of the greater war, which is depicted here graphically and specificallyfrom calculated assassinations to wanton chemical warfare. Their one binding tie is code-named ""The Lily''a maniacal mastermind who has unified and empowered the fragmented resistance, so much so that they have cracked the lines of Soviet intelligence itself. It is The Lily, rumored to be a woman, who fuels the fire between Khan and Yakushev, forcing them to an almost too spectacular climax. With the eyes of the Western world watching in the guise of a British-American cameraman, Khan and Yakushev achieve their bitter end. Kruse (Red Omega) leaves us a bit wrung out, sometimes alone and confused in the desert, and at other times a bit overwhelmed by plot and counterplot. But he also leaves us more sensitive to the events of our own decade, our sympathies elicited by intensely credible characters and by the depth and breadth of his attention to detail. (September 21)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
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