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Hostile Intent [Hardcover]

Clive Egleton


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Book Description

April 15 1993
When a minor British official is blown up during a neo-Nazi riot in Dresden, and Peter Ashton, the middle-ranking agent in charge of the case, is asked by his superiors to label it an accident, Ashton tries to discover the truth.

Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Vhps Trade (April 15 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312088124
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312088125
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 13.2 x 3.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 522 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,694,992 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

British thriller veteran Egleton ( A Double Deception ) has written better endings--and better books--but even when off his form, he's engagingly knowledgeable and has a knack for pacing. In the spring of 1991, a minor British agent is apparently blown up by neo-Nazis in Germany. Mid-level operative Peter Ashton, sent to tidy up, decides the bomb was meant for Galina Kutuzova, the daughter and granddaughter of Soviet apparatchiks, who is probably an informant. When she disappears, Ashton pursues her across Europe and America before the chase ends in eastern Germany. Galina has various adventures, including stripping in New Orleans and a lesbian encounter in Arizona, and Ashton runs the risk of being branded a double agent, but all in all they're not very interesting characters. Although a KGB hit team spices things up a bit towards the end, the large supporting cast of Yanks and Brits blurs together, and the various intra- and interagency rivalries grow dull. Still, Egleton is nothing if not brisk, and readers will zip along--right up to the final fizzle.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

Armament-heavy spycraft as British Military Intelligence tries to unravel the murder of an agent in Dresden, apparently by Neo- Nazis, while the blood flows. Typical Egleton (A Double Deception, Last Act, etc.) and neither better nor worse than his usual fruitcake of falling bodies mixed with broken nutshells of military specs--not to mention paragraphs stuffed with acronyms, hardware, exotic place names, ranking within military castes and intelligence services. The story here, laid out in three acts, starts in Dresden when British intelligence agent Captain Robert Whittle meets with Starshii Leitenant Gulina Kutuzova of the GRU to trade consumer goods and $200 for Gulina's low-grade info on Red Army units. Following the meet, Whittle dies in a car bomb explosion--a Neo-Nazi rally is being held at the same time--while Gulina disappears. Has she defected? If so, where to? Although Whittle's death is of only passing interest to the newspapers, MI5 feels morally obliged to get to the bottom of the event and assigns dependable agent Peter Ashton to find Gulina, the last person to have seen Whittle alive. Gulina's only real tie with another human being is with her mother Lydia, and Ashton sets off for Leningrad and Moscow to track down Lydia. But Americanski-speaking Gulina has fled by Swiss-Air to Montreal and hence hiphopped to Las Vegas, where she has reluctantly allowed herself to be taken under the wing of an athletic lesbian--a financial wizard who knows how to beat the wheel. Along with Ashton and American agent Tony Zale, Red Army agents are hot on her heels. The McGuffin has to do with a breakaway maverick unit within the Red Army, which has planted a string of atomic land mines in East Germany to protect the former USSR from invasion by the new GDR. Pages greased with Cosmoline, mentally quite slippery and hard to hang onto. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
4.0 out of 5 stars The first Peter Ashton novel Nov. 9 2010
By TChris - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Hostile Intent is an old-fashioned spy story, Clive Egleton's first to feature SIS agent Peter Ashton. The well-paced novel begins with the assassination of Bob Whittle, a member of the British Army's Intelligence Corps, shortly after his meeting in Dresden with Galina Kutuzova, a GRU officer who reports to the KGB. Galina has been selling information to Whittle, while her partner, Yuri Rostovsky, has been peddling it to the Americans. Together they have profited by selling classified information to the French. Ashton is called in to to investigate Whittle's murder -- a task that proves difficult given the unwillingness of the Foreign Office to blame the Russians for anything in light of the Cold War's demise. The KGB kills Rostovsky and Galina flees to avoid attempts on her life while Ashton, trying to spook a GRU officer into contacting Moscow about Galina, pretends to be a double agent, risking his credibility with his own superiors. Egleton ratchets up tension as Ashton tries to find Galina before the KGB can locate and kill her.

Although Hostile Intent is carefully plotted, there are times when the story becomes difficult to believe. It was particularly hard to understand the continuing desire of the Foreign Office to ignore the true cause of Whittle's murder and to treat Galina as unimportant, given fairly obvious evidence that Galina and Rostovsky were selling highly classified material and that Galina still had information that would benefit the British. The nature of the information she finally reveals is also a bit over the top. A separate problem with Hostile Intent is that Egleton's writing style, while competent, needed improvement: Hostile Intent includes too many awkward sentences and Egleton too often resorted to cliche. Apart from those quibbles, Hostile Intent is a novel I would recommend to fans of espionage fiction. Ashton isn't quite in a league with George Smiley or Bernard Samson, but Egleton spins an entertaining story and peppers it with enough action to keep the pages turning.

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