cover image Hostile Intent

Hostile Intent

Clive Egleton, Author St. Martin's Press $18.95 (314p) ISBN 978-0-312-08812-5

British thriller veteran Egleton ( A Double Deception ) has written better endings--and better books--but even when off his form, he's engagingly knowledgeable and has a knack for pacing. In the spring of 1991, a minor British agent is apparently blown up by neo-Nazis in Germany. Mid-level operative Peter Ashton, sent to tidy up, decides the bomb was meant for Galina Kutuzova, the daughter and granddaughter of Soviet apparatchiks, who is probably an informant. When she disappears, Ashton pursues her across Europe and America before the chase ends in eastern Germany. Galina has various adventures, including stripping in New Orleans and a lesbian encounter in Arizona, and Ashton runs the risk of being branded a double agent, but all in all they're not very interesting characters. Although a KGB hit team spices things up a bit towards the end, the large supporting cast of Yanks and Brits blurs together, and the various intra- and interagency rivalries grow dull. Still, Egleton is nothing if not brisk, and readers will zip along--right up to the final fizzle. (June)