The Britannia Contract

Paul Mann, Author Carroll & Graf Publishers $21 (443p) ISBN 978-0-88184-933-2
Mann ( The Traitor's Contract ) has crafted a pip of a thriller. After a state visit to Saudi Arabia, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip are heading home aboard the royal yacht Britannia when it is hijacked by IRA terrorists demanding the evacuation of all British troops from Northern Ireland in one week's time. Moving swiftly from the Red Sea to London to Ulster to Washington, Mann portrays the frenetic responses of terrorists, soldiers, politicians and hostages. Almost everyone schemes against foe and friend: Whitehall is especially internecine and eventually even the terrorists fall out. Coming to the rescue is a small team of British SAS commandos armed with top-secret American high-tech weapons and minisubs, ready to rescue the Queen in a daring attack on the Britannia . Despite over-the-top awe for the Queen as ``the world's most enduring symbol of grace'' and stock good guys/bad guys, the tale offers good, clean, fast-paced fun. Only cads would carp at the Queen's English when she asks someone to arrange ``for Philip and I to speak with our children.'' Everyone else will keep turning pages. 50,000 first printing; $40,000 ad/promo. (July)
Reviewed on: 06/28/1993
Release date: 07/01/1993
Genre: Fiction
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