In the Minds of Men

Max Owen, Author Walker & Company $21.95 (322p) ISBN 978-0-8027-1071-0
The heroine of this intrically plotted thriller is Annya Lermotova, a major in the GRU (the intelligence arm of the Soviet military). The plot is yet another terrorist-cum-hijacked nuclear weapons scenario: a submarine-based ballistic missile called Trident 4A has been stolen from the U.S., Owen, a grandson of editor Max Perkins, generates satisfying tension; his female James Bond is engaging. The ostensible villains are minions of Qaddafi determined to blow up an Israeli-Saudi peace conference, along with the U.S. president and most of Tel Aviv's population. Beyond this threat looms a larger one: that the event could provoke World War III. The Russians brief Lermotova to divert a hostile reaction against themselves. But there's a wheel within the wheels in the person of rugged WW II hero Marshall Orlanov, who fears that the perestroika program launched by Alexei Kalinov (a thinly disguised Gorbachev) could sap the moral fiber of the country. He secretly backs the Libyan plan and undercuts Lermatova's efforts to frustrate it. Owen's complex plot is sometimes bogged down by technical details, but on the whole this is a solid debut. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
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