cover image Lair of the Fox

Lair of the Fox

Daniel Pollock. Walker & Company, $19.95 (306pp) ISBN 978-0-8027-1088-8

Pollock's first novel, a thriller in the terrorist/hostage sub-genre, is an exciting and entertaining debut. When Islamic Kurdish terrorists take a Hollywood film crew hostage, Welsh movie star and left-wing activist Amanda Morgan offers herself in exchange for the captives, presuming she will be treated with care by the Kurdish leader, the ``Little Fox.'' What she does not reckon with is the presence among the terrorists of John Courage, a brutish British mercenary who has lusted after her for years whenever his brain is not besotted by alcohol or drugs. American diplomat Paul Cyrus, going underground to rescue Amanda, joins a KGB team chasing the Little Fox, since the terrorists have stolen several canisters of a new Soviet poison gas. Things come to a head in an orgy of violence on a small Greek island. Pollock sustains his fast-paced story with memorable secondary characters--a gentle monk living as a hermit on a remote cliffside, an aging constable whose most demanding confrontations prior to the arrival of the terrorists were with an occasional drunken tourist or indiscreet nudist. Written with authority, this is a classic, can't-put-it-down thriller. (Sept.)