Drink with the Devil
Jack Higgins / Author Putnam $24.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-399-14154-
Sean Dillon, master of disguise and steady Higgins hero (Angel of Death, etc.), returns for another go against political mayhem in the author's latest action-fest. A 1985 hijacking of gold bullion, masterminded by Irish Protestant terrorist Michael Ryan, ends with the ship that's carrying the booty sinking off Ireland. Ryan and his niece Kathleen flee to America while their presumed henchman, seemingly a sailor but actually a disguised Dillon, then an IRA enforcer, ostensibly returns to sea. Ten years later, Ryan is sprung from an American medical prison by a Mafia lawyer intent on retrieving the bullion. Soon the gold is the object of desire of the mob, a retired IRA chief of staff and British Intelligence, for whom Dillon now works. The cheeky, pint-sized Dillon tends toward occasional stage Irishness, and the other characterizations aren't much deeper, but readers riveted by Higgins's mastery of plot and pace won't mind at all. Winding up with a jaunty noir bounce, this is splendid high pulp-in other words, vintage Higgins. BOMC main selection. (June) ~ FYI: Two Sean Dillon novels, On Dangerous Ground and Eye of the Storm, will air later this year on Showtime as TV movies, starring Rob Lowe as Dillon.
Reviewed on: 04/29/1996