Sweeney's Run

Jack D. Hunter, Author Tor Books $19.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-312-85159-0
When a man from his past turns up dead in the bathroom of his house in Chesapeake Bay, Md., retired secret agent Tom Sweeney finds that he is a moving target for mysterious killers. Only gradually does this complex techno-thriller set in the near future reveal Sweeney as the crucial figure in an international plot involving South American drug lords, German neo-Nazis, and a cabal of high-ranking U.S. officials whose influence reaches the presidency itself. Unfortunately, Hunter ( The Potsdam Bluff ) baffles his readers even more than his protagonist with a conspiracy too elaborate to be plausible and too undeveloped to be convincing. Until its final scenes the novel conveys no sense of why Sweeney's death is of such vital importance to the plotters. Nor is Sweeney intriguing enough to engage us in his fate for its own sake. Certainly nothing in his actual behavior merits the enthusiastic praise Hunter periodically puts in the mouths of Sweeney's foes and friends--especially that of his lover, pilot Cap O'Brien. Why is O'Brien is so smitten with Sweeney? This is indeed the most interesting mystery in a work that from first page to last equates confusion with suspense. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/31/1992
Release date: 09/01/1992
Genre: Fiction
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