cover image Warning Shot

Warning Shot

Clive Egleton, Clive Egelton. St. Martin's Press, $22.95 (320pp) ISBN 978-0-312-15685-5

Old fans of the Peter Ashton series (A Lethal Involvement, etc.) will relish getting reacquainted with Egleton's characters while new readers will quickly be brought up to speed in this latest spy novel from the veteran author. The old cast returns here: Roy Kelso, fussbudget paymaster for British Intelligence; Helga von Schinkel, aristocratic old anti-Nazi and anti-Communist; Victor Hazelwood, manipulative, stogie-smoking SIS Director General; Willie Baumgart, raffish German odd-job man for SIS; Jill Sheridan, ruthless rising SIS star. They all revolve around Ashton, who has been temporarily exiled from ""The Firm"" for acting like a loose cannon. Egleton, who writes from firsthand experience in British Intelligence and counterespionage, supplies appearances by timely new characters as well, including American militia-man Nathan Ungley and real-life FBI Director Louis Freeh. When two British agents are found murdered and mutilated in Germany, the highly competent if freethinking Ashton is given a temporary contract that may lead to his reinstatement in SIS. In a plot that also features some stolen atomic warheads, Ashton shuttles off to Russia, Germany, France and finally middle America in a dizzying quest for a CIA double (or triple) agent. Before the rather abrupt ending, Egleton treats readers to a deliciously accurate portrait of bureaucratic infighting and a sharp look at the fantasy-riddled lifestyle of right-wing American militia types. Once again, he proves that there is Intelligence life after the Cold War. (June)