cover image The Bio-Assassins

The Bio-Assassins

Gerald Posner. McGraw-Hill Companies, $18.95 (308pp) ISBN 978-0-07-050611-4

A secret CIA station in London is raided, its staff wiped out. But the hit is more than just another skirmish in an ongoing shadow war. The facility was conducting research into biological warfare--research forbidden by international treaty--and had gotten far enough to produce a deadly virus with no antidote. Now that virus appears to be in the hands of the KGB, which plans to use it against a U.S. that is in no position to explain or justify itself. This is the matrix for Posner's first novel, a thriller whose development depends heavily on the author's convincing descriptions of the technology in intelligence work. The narrative works within the current conventions of its genre: principle is a mask for expedience; cynicism displaces conviction; proficiency implies virtue. But Posner, author of nonfiction works on Josef Mengele and Chinese secret societies, handles his material well. His descriptions move smartly; his characters, while somewhat two-dimensional, are convincing in their context; and his plot is constructed to satisfy demanding readers. (July)