cover image Scorpion


Andrew Kaplan. MacMillan Publishing Company, $0 (327pp) ISBN 978-0-02-560710-1

Kaplan's intended thriller is so overdrawn that it may make readers giggle rather than tremble at the perilous exploits of Nick Curry, aka Scorpion. A CIA undercover agent in the Middle East, Scorpion escapes from certain death again and again, trying to foil a Soviet-backed plot by Prince Abdul Sa'ad. The prince plans to kill the king of a major oil-producing country, thereby cutting America off from oil supplies and eventually forcing the U.S. to surrender to Russia. The other mission demanding the agent's utmost courage and daring is rescuing lovely Kelly Ormont, sold by white slavers to Abdul and subjected to his sexual perversions. Since the evil prince is guarded by fierce henchmen in an impenetrable fortress, Scorpion seems likely to fail but he survives hacking, bludgeoning, betrayal by colleagues and any number of improbable disasters. All in all, the story is in the true comic-book tradition. (March 18)