Spearhead

Peter Driscoll, Author Little Brown and Company $17.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-316-19341-2
Driscoll ( The Wilby Conspiracy ) sets his new novel, a first-rate, professional, action thriller, in South Africa. The plot centers around Lincoln Kumalo, who resembles the real life-Nelson Mandela: he is a controversial black politician, kept in jail on meager charges for 25 years and now a rallying figure to all blacks and white liberals. News of Kumalo's imminent removal to a hospital for a cancer operation is interpreted by a confused prison orderly as a government plot to kill him. The rescue caper that ensues is expertly complicated and involves an international assortment of goodies and baddies, including a Jewish cancer surgeon (``a limousine liberal''), a disenchanted U.S. pilot, a bitter Afrikaaner colonel and an Irish adventurer who needs the sting money to save his farm back home. Though the author's sympathies seem clear, he uses the volatility of the South African situation more as a backdrop to drama than to champion a cause. The subplots of this clever cliff-hanger are impressively juggled, the dialogue good, the character vignettes often witty and the climax extraordinary. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1989
Release date: 04/01/1989
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-552-13216-9
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