cover image For Good State

For Good State

Anthony Price, Author Mysterious Press $16.45 (0p) ISBN 978-0-89296-224-2

Price's literate espionage novels (Here Be Monsters is the most recent) are of the cat-and-mouse variety, with an emphasis on mood, character and plot intricacy requiring more than a little patience. Those virtues are carried to a fault in this extremely slow-building and talky novel. Thomas Arkenshaw, a young British agent with experience in Beirut and other hot spots, is assigned as bodyguard to David Audley, a veteran intelligence officer who has been summoned to meet with high-ranking KGB officer Nikolai Panin. But before the two meet, Audley is shot at and one of his men is killed. Polish politics, double agents, internal rivalries and a beguiling female CIA agent all come into play in what is certainly a departure from the run-of-the-mill spy thriller. The snail's pace of the action, however, will deter all but the most devoted Price fan. (June)