Spy and Espionage Mitchell Smith Karma

ISBN 13: 9780451180100

Karma

3.29 avg rating
( 51 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780451180100: Karma

Watching a woman plunge thirty stories to her death, New York architect Evan Scott is drawn into a terrifying conspiracy with powerful international implications. Reprint.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

For the first two-thirds of his new novel, Smith (Due North, 1992, etc.) can't decide whether he's writing a study of one man's Vietnam post-traumatic stress syndrome or a vulnerable-loner- fights-against-impossible-odds thriller. When he chooses (less pretentiously) the latter, the jettisoned baggage allows him a flashy sprint to the finish line. Evan Scott, an architect out of Groton and Yale who excels at polo and fencing, is standing atop a very wrong edifice one threatening Manhattan night when he sees a young woman fall from an unfinished Madison Avenue skyscraper across the street. Not too many days pass before be learns that: a) she didn't fall but was pushed; and b) his bruited presence has become a threat to those behind the pushing. Suddenly additional people are dropping dead, including coworker/lover, Sanchia Fuentes. Frustratingly, no one in whom Scott confides believes the accumulating mishaps are anything more than coincidental. The skeptics include Scott's wife, Catherine (herself privileged and quite an upper-class bigot); his bosses, who suggest an immediate vacation; and the police, who think Scott's cries of wolf may be a cover-up for homicidal tendencies. Those who know Scott is speaking the truth are the three Hindu brothers who lend their name to Rao Electric, the firm doing the wiring for ill-fated 366 Madison. (They've been monkeying around on their highly recompensed job, though neither Evan nor the reader gets the details till the very end.) Only an aging newsstand owner named Ram Dass Lal takes Scott's side and, indeed, insists on helping bell the meanies in their lairs. Having found in the Raos a fresh twist on developers-as-'90s-villains, Smith gets the action moving from New York City to New Jersey to Maine with guns blazing, knives flashing, elevators soaring, guts spilling, blood spurting. On balance, good Karma. (Literary Guild selection) -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

In this bear trap of a thriller, Smith eases up on the literary ambitions of his recent suspense novels (Due North; Stone City) to offer a sinewy chiller that will leave readers wide-eyed. Much is familiar here-the Raos, the ruthless Hindu criminal family that threatens architect Evan Scott and his family are at heart exotic Corleones-and much is blatant. The characters are built crudely: Evan's wife is tall and blonde; his mistress, short and dark; one villain is fat and jolly, another thin and suave. But the action is top drawer, beginning with Evan locking eyes with a woman who's falling from the top of a partially built skyscraper. In that eye-lock, Smith reads a world of nuance, and it's this sort of subtle mining of tensions between characters, especially the WASP Evan and the retired Indian soldier with whom he joins forces, that gives the action resonance. The girl was pushed, Evan learns, because her electrician father had filed a minor business complaint against the Raos, who are erecting the skyscraper. Evan's digging earns the Raos' wrath, and soon he and his family are running and fighting for their lives, with the conflict climaxing in a breathtaking battle on high steel. This isn't Smith's best novel, but it sure is his most exhilarating. Literary Guild selection.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Smith, Mitchell
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