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Thwarting Russian proxy war

Monday, October 04, 2010

The Wolf at the Door by Jack Higgins brings us familiar company – the pair of Sean Dillon and Harry Miller and General Charles Ferguson holding up for Britain. Blake Johnson taking a bullet in the shoulder for the US while getting off his sail boat, but managing to blast his assassin into the quiet water in Quogue off Long Island. Ferguson surviving a car bomb in London, Harry Miller shooting his assailant in the leg inside New York’s Central Park. A typical action-and-suspense-filled start - trademark Higgins at his best.
This is all happening in the run-up to the Russian PM, Vladimir Putin’s visit to the US where he is scheduled to address the UN General Assembly. Higgins is one of the many writers who have come out openly against Putin, calling him a cold blooded murderer who will stop at nothing to silence his critics and dissenters. The operation to finish off the intelligence team protecting the British PM has been sanctioned by the Russians. Putin endorses a plan to send in Daniel Holley, who is released from a Russian prison on the condition that he gets the job done in return for his freedom, or else rot in prison.
As the attempts to wipe out the British team through hired IRA assassins fails, Daniel Holley goes about trying to accomplish the mission on his own and salvage some of his pride. There is Caitlin Daly, who has been a part of the IRA network and is now in danger, as the Russians get down to punishing those who have bungled.
There is a rogue element, a military man Ivanov, Max Chekov, an oligarch who is a Putin man stationed in London, there is a dissenter Kurbsky who the Russians want dead for defecting, and the Arab arms agent, Selim, adding middle-eastern flavour to the twists and turns in the story. Holley has his own unhappy past of losing a trusted relative Rosaleen who is raped and killed by a Protestant faction in Belfast. He gets sucked into the violence and gun-running and then there is no turning back. Hard hitting story, this.
The Wolf at the Door
By Jack Higgins
Price Rs.250

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