Looking for the Mahdi

N. Lee Wood, Author Ace Books $12 (0p) ISBN 978-0-441-00298-6
A veteran journalist on assignment in the Middle East, Kay Munad finds herself falling in love with technology, but it's not the latest gizmo to improve news coverage. It's John Halton, a humanoid constructed by the federal government to assist in espionage activities. Kay and John unwittingly become the focal point of a plot to overthrow an unstable government and must rely on each other to survive the subterfuge of vying political factions. In her debut novel, Wood cleverly explores one of science fiction's favorite questions: What does it mean to be human? Effective use of first person gives readers a look at the near future through the eyes of a pragmatic, cynical news reporter (she does ``feed-ins for the prettily coifed and polished bubbleheads'' because she's ``homely as a mud fence'') who grows into a truly memorable character by book's end. Kay is a coarse yet likable woman whose penchant for telling it as she sees it, as in ``The boss looked like he'd eaten a very large turd,'' may be disconcerting to some. Still, Wood delivers fast-paced adventure in a hybrid sci-fi/spy thriller that also connects on a personal level. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/29/1996
Release date: 02/01/1996
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 337 pages - 978-0-441-00450-8
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