cover image Henry McGee is Not Dead: A November Man Novel

Henry McGee is Not Dead: A November Man Novel

Bill Granger. Warner Books, $0 (306pp) ISBN 978-0-446-51286-2

If good thrillers can be divided into clever, very clever and exceedingly clever, this one falls into the last category, and readers must stay on their toes to keep up with its tingling complexities. Elusive Henry McGee is a Soviet scientist who defected to the West bearing invaluable scientific and military informationbut now he has disappeared from an advanced scientific project in Alaska. Immediately on his trail are not ony the FBI and the CIA, but Devereaux (the November Man), head of R Section and the novel's closest approximation to a hero. At the same time the KGB ``persuades'' Soviet spy-defector Denisov to try to bring both McGee and Devereaux to the Soviet Union (via submarine). Mixed into this swirl of action are a dissident Eskimo group, led by an ex-con, that plans to attach an atomic bomb to the Alaskan pipeline, and a female senator who plans to make a fortune out of what she knows about the scheme. Life is cheap in McGee's world, torture routine, the women as ruthless as the men; and since, to quote one of the characters, ``Words are for lies,'' coming at the truth becomes for the reader an especially tricky and exciting game. Granger's many thrillers include The Infant of Prague and The El Murders. (Nov.)