This smashing debut novel propels Murray Smith into the front ranks of thriller writers and toward a place on the New York Times paperback bestseller list. A beautiful girl dies of a drug overdose in New York City, and veteran detective Eddie Lucco vows to trace the poison to its source.
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"David McCallum does an excellent job narrating, but the story is cut in the abridgment and is very difficult to follow." M.B.K. (c)AudioFile, Portland, MaineFrom Kirkus Reviews:
First novel about an attempt by British Intelligence to bring down Colombian druglord Pablo Envigado by placing an agent among the upper-level ranks of the Medell¡n cartel--an attempt that's tragically undermined by unwitting cross-plotting among Envigado's enemies. When romantic, guilt-ridden superspook David Jardine, whose platonic marriage is punctuated by intense, irregular adulteries, is ordered to choose a new agent to infiltrate Envigado's upstart drug ring, he prepares a list of candidates, then whittles it down to two: Scottish-Argentinean barrister Malcolm Strong and Special Forces Capt. Harry Ford--and finally, after chapters and chapters of training and indecision, decides to send Harry, at just about the same time he starts sleeping with Harry's wife Elizabeth. Meantime, in New York, Homicide Lt. Eddie Lucco finds his attempt to identify a teenage girl killed by bad drugs stymied by an unusually high mortality rate among possible informants who could explain her connection to Medell¡n hanger-on Ricardo Santos. And in Dublin, rising judge Eugene Pearson, all but promised the Attorney General's slot after the next election, is blackmailed by Envigado strongman Luis Restrepo into laying an ongoing cocaine trail into Europe in return for a regular commission that Pearson's fellow-IRA higher-ups are desperate to get their hands on. It's obvious that Pearson's wayward daughter Siobhan is Lucco's Jane Doe, but Smith takes his sweet time stringing the three plots together, feverishly introducing supporting characters and spinning out subplots as Lucco warily agrees to become the DEA's inside man, and Pearson sets himself against his chums in the IRA, and Jardine finds himself falling hard for Elizabeth, and Harry, finally nestled securely in Envigado's bosom, realizes he liked taking $2 million for saving his boss's life by killing a former colleague. British TV writer Smith's debut is immensely promising in individual scenes and episodes--especially in Lucco's gripping, believably heroic story--but overslung, overinsistent, and finally anticlimactic in its so-what holocaust. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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