Egleton's espionage thrillers are like single-malt whiskey: smooth, smoky and rich, but eventually befuddling if you don't keep your wits about you. This one begins with a story about a possible murder in Germany in 1975. In the present, Peter Ashton (Death Throes, etc.) is brought back as a contract employee for British Intelligence and soon uncovers a lurid murder with gay overtones. In almost no time, he's picking his way through various British police and civil servants, the CIA, Hong Kong gangsters and even Chechen hit men and gun-runners. The body count is high. The plot spins from London to Hong Kong--lovely local color, there--to Langley and California. Chief among the novel's joys is Ashton's working through the cold, if often funny, SIS office politics. As usual, Egleton's plot complications can stun a horse, or a careless reader, but their intricacy is delicious and well worth the risk. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/29/1996 Release date: 08/01/1996 Genre: Fiction
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