The Day the Thames Caught Fire

Peter Chambers, Author St. Martin's Press $16.95 (251p) ISBN 978-0-312-04294-3
The former president of the British Crime Writers Association, and author of The Hunting of Mr. Gloves , here offers an overly ambitious and disappointing novel with a large cast that includes British spies, politicians, merchant seamen, beautiful women and a Mafia hit man. In Majorca, an enigmatic stranger hires unemployed mercenary Major Philip Baxter, nicknamed the Bad Major, to lead a daring robbery. The scheme: to steal 10 million in gold bullion from a well-guarded, well-fortified building in central London in broad daylight. Predictably, the elaborate planning and execution of the crime allows ample time for some of the players to double-cross one another. Chambers's unfocused narrative describes the role and character of each player, no matter how minor, failing to concentrate on the major ones. Cliched dialogue and a flat prose style don't help matters, nor do the irritating and abrupt shifts in the point of view, which occur even in mid-paragraph. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-85496-800-5
Paperback - 576 pages - 978-0-7089-7270-0
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