cover image Duel of Assassins

Duel of Assassins

Daniel Pollock. Pocket Books, $18.95 (290pp) ISBN 978-0-671-70578-7

After a slow start, Pollock's ( Lair of the Fox ) espionage thriller gathers the momentum of a story readers will be both impatient and sorry to finish. Taras Arensky and Marcus Jolly forge their camaraderie as young men, united in grief at the loss of a mutual friend. With Arensky's help, Jolly, a wanderer with no ties to his native U.S., defects to the Soviet Union, where both men become members of Spetsnaz , a Soviet special forces unit. But Arensky, no longer able to tolerate the Spetsnaz or the ``migratory genocide'' inflicted on the Afghanspeople of Afghanistan are Afghans, acc. to Webster's. aa by his countrymen, defects to the U.S. Years later, the two skilled agents meet again--Jolly as the assassin hired to kill the Soviet president and Arensky as the secret adversary who must stop him. Though his authentically detailed, action-packed plot may be over-arranged, Pollock keeps turning up the suspense until the bang-up resolution at a summit meeting in Potsdam. (Apr.)