Talons

Anthony Mancini, Author Dutton Books $19.95 (230p) ISBN 978-1-55611-234-8
Mancini's ( Menage ) story about a man-eating eagle is reminiscent of William Bayer's Peregrine. But while the latter novel was a spellbinder, events here are telegraphed so bluntly there's little suspense. Raven Lokka, an American diplomatic attache in the Soviet Republic of Kirghiz, learns falconry from a nomad who presents him with an eagle he caught near Chernobyl. After Lokka smuggles the fledgling back to the States, the bird grows into a mutant giant as a result of its exposure to radiation. When the bird, called Brunhild, attacks Lokka's baby son, he frees her, but she subsequently returns and kills the boy. Later, when a giant panda is bizarrely mutilated at the Central Park Zoo, curator Antonia Meadows collaborates with Lt. David Torino, NYPD; the situation acquires urgency as a series of human victims die under the raptor's talons. Thinking she has located Brunhild, Antonia mistakenly shoots another eagle with a tranquilizing gun and keeps it in a cage in her home for study. Ensuing events are anticlimactic and rendered without the saving grace of irony. Mancini's habit of introducing victims just before they die gives the novel a monotonous predictability. Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Clubs selections. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/29/1991
Release date: 08/01/1991
Hardcover - 978-0-517-09236-1
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