Hostile Intent Hardcover – Apr 15 1993
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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.See all Product Description
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.