The Red Defector

Martin Gross, Author Berkley $4.99 (0p) ISBN 978-0-425-12893-0
pk In light of recent events in Gorbachev's Soviet Union, Gross ( The Red President ) seems prescient with this new spy thrillerisn't a contemporary gloss a little restrained when you consider what has just happened in the Soviet UNion? . Archangel, a mysterious Kremlin functionary, heads a cell of hardliners bent on ending the era of Soviet glasnost. Assassinations fall like rain: the American CIA chief in Leningrad, followed by a loyal KGB agent, the Soviet foreign minister and the Soviet president--all in the first 25 pages. The murders continue apace, as Gross weaves the background of the Soviet Union--Moslem fundamentalism, separatist movements, anti-Semitism, the neo-nationalist Pamyat group--into a thriller featuring pk high-level defections, stolen national security secrets and plenty of gunplay. The plotting is taut with twists and countertwists. By contrast, most characters act out time-worn roles. While title and position substitute for characterization in many traditional thrillers (renegade KGBabove, `renegade KBG members...' agents are villains, the CIA loner who breaks the rules is the hero, the politically naive but beautiful Russian actress is the Soviet president's bed partner), this is particularly stalepk at a time when world events challenge traditional symbols of good and evil.i don't think a thriller from Berkely shld be so judged; the idea that this book is damaging is, well, silly,/how right you are/thanks!pk (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1991
Release date: 10/01/1991
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