Rockets' Red Glare

Gregory S. Dinallo, Author St. Martin's Press $17.95 (359p) ISBN 978-0-312-01508-4
Houston oil magnate Theodor Scoville Churcher has a rather unholy alliance with Soviet minister of culture Aleksei Deschin: Churcher provides U.S. military secrets and the Russian pays in priceless works of art from the Soviet archives. Churcher discovers a couple of Soviet secrets too: One, they're still deploying missiles in the Caribbean and, two, they're paying him in fake paintings. He confronts the minister aboard a Soviet submarineand is soon reported missing at sea. Navy intelligence begins to detect signs of the missile deliveriesbut superpower arms talks may conclude before the damaging news can be confirmed. On a personal level, choreographer Melanie Winslow learns she is the wartime child of the Soviet minister. Thus the scene is set for Andrew Churcher to search for his father and the elder Churcher's secrets, Winslow to seek her father, the U.S. to protect its interests and the Soviets, naturally, to protect theirs. For all the carefully intersecting subplots, screenwriter Dinallo's first novel unfolds like an unexceptional TV movie, its Texans talking tough and its Russians often speaking as though they were reading Western Union telegrams to each other. Of interest in this era of detente is that the book's stakes are not nuclear destruction but a good deal at the negotiating table. (April)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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