The Piper's Tune

George Warren, Author Knightsbridge Pub. Co. $0 (0p) ISBN 978-1-56129-049-9
Warren's enjoyably improbable espionage thriller is reminiscent (in the most favorable way) of old paperback originals featuring such superspy heroes as Matt Helm and Joe Gall. Admittedly, Warren's ( Run for Blood ) story gets more intricate and his characters are somewhat more developed than their pulp equivalents, but his sense of fast-paced adventure, dangerous men and women and cynical intrigues comes straight from simpler times, complete with a whiff of conservative paranoia about politicians and the press. In fact, there is more than enough action to keep the reader from thinking too hard about the implausible elements of the plot. Disillusioned ex-spy Harry Morse is called back into service by his mentor to work in concert with a Soviet counterpart to recover a missing Russian agent who reportedly knows of a plan that could ruin glasnost. The lovely Stacey Lowell, a former colleague, now a superior agent, provides the romantic interest; GRU agent Dimitri Vlasov provides substantial mystery and menace, and a whole coterie of cardboard killers and other villains provide danger at every turn. The trail leads first to Iran, then to the Colombian jungle and ultimately to San Francisco, where a tragic sacrifice is required to prevent a horrifying act of biological warfare. Unencumbered by psychological complexities, the novel is all action and all fun. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/29/1991
Release date: 08/01/1991
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