Games of the Hangman

Victor O'Reilly, Author Grove/Atlantic $19.95 (520p) ISBN 978-0-8021-1431-0
O'Reilly conjures up an astoundingly successful debut thriller that ticks along with the precision of a Swiss timepiece and the whimsy of a cuckoo clock. On a morning ride through his ancestral Irish island estate, Hugo Fitzduane--soldier turned war photographer--finds the hanged body of Swiss student Rudi von Graffenlaub. The unique design tattooed on Rudi's wrist is also found on two terrorists killed by Shane Kilmara, Hugo's former Army commander and head of the Irish Rangers--a sort of national anti-terrorist SWAT team. Kilmara gives Hugo entree to police channels in Bern, Switzerland, where bizarrely mutilated bodies turn up soon after Hugo's arrival, disrupting the Swiss sense of order. The Bern police chief assigns Heinz Raufman to watch over Fitzduane while he searches for a connection between Rudi and the terrorists; O'Reilly contrasts the national characteristics of these two protagonists in picture-perfect Bern to hilarious effect. The gruesome antics of an amoral villain lead Hugo and Heinz through a maelstrom of murder in Switzerland and Ireland to a spine-tingling showdown with an army of terrorists at Hugo's medieval castle. O'Reilly's readers will be turning pages into the early morning hours. 50,000 first printing; $75,000 ad/promo; author tour. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1991
Release date: 10/01/1991
Genre: Fiction
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-8043-4013-7
Mass Market Paperbound - 497 pages - 978-0-425-13456-6
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-425-14960-7
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