The Romeo Flag

Carolyn Hougan, Author Simon & Schuster $19.45 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-61218-4
Hougan ( Shooting in the Dark ) masterfully blends espionage, adventure, suspense, romance and history in this complex and engrossing page-turner. In 1941, as a baby, Nicola Ward was sent from Shanghai to the U.S. when her Russian mother and British father felt their life was threatened by their work in a Soviet spy ring. Nearly 40 years later, a school teacher and recent divorcee, she receives a trunk containing photos and documents, an icon and what could be a Faberge egg--sent to England by her maternal grandfather years earlier and left untouched in the attic of her father's family home. The auction house she consults assigns Neil Walker, a recently retired CIA operative, to check the provenance of the treasures. Slowly unraveled, the story of the prized objects illuminates the history of Nicola's family, at one point suggesting she is a Romanov heir but pointing also to the identity of a Soviet spy highly placed in the U.S. government. Attracted to each other, Neil, a widower, and Nicola begin a wary relationship. As he closes in on identification, Neil, with Nicola and their children--her anorectic daughter, his crippled son--are pursued at sea through a wild Atlantic storm and then up and down the East coast, as he desperately tries to arrange a solution that will guarantee their lives. Hougan is an utterly natural storyteller, breathing life into her characters--who include a vivid supporting cast--and letting them loose to live out their own enthralling tale. BOMC selection. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1989
Release date: 04/01/1989
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-449-21833-4
Paperback - 511 pages - 978-1-933397-13-9
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