Iron Lady: A Biographical Thriller

Stephen Forest, Author St. Martin's Press $25.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-312-20466-2
When the reader is compelled to skim long paragraphs of description in a thriller, it's a sure sign that the author needs to cut to the chase; but when one must read page after page without encountering anything vital, then the chase has pretty much ground to a halt, which is the case in this overwritten (and overwrought) debut. The premise is promising: A contract killer known only as Gorgon is enlisted to carry out an IRA-sponsored hit on Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Gorgon crafts a clever plan around Thatcher's well-known love of photo-opportunities with children by kidnapping and brainwashing Danny, the six-year-old son of American photographer Jessica Moore. Jessica's frantic search for Danny eventually connects her with British agent Trent Stanford, who's leading the search for the IRA agents behind a recent failed attempt on Thatcher's life. but their race to save Thatcher and rescue Danny is buried beneath the rubble of such incomprehensible sentences as ""It was only prudent to bring experience to the unknown that took the form of the sacred in the hush of the great library."" Add to that flat-footed references to 1984 and Moby Dick and long stretches of deadening prose about feminists, angry male gods and bitches, and the plot goes into overload and the reader into exhaustion. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 11/01/1999
Release date: 11/01/1999
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 400 pages - 978-0-312-16872-8
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