Colorado congressman Evan Kendrick is trying to live out his term of office quietly-when a political mole reveals to the world Kendricks deepest secret...that Kendrick was the anonymous man in Masqar, the man who courageously freed the hostage held in the American embassy by Arab terrorists; the unknown hero who performed an act of outrageous daring then silently disappeared. Now, suddenly, Kendrick is a living target pursued by the terrorists he outwitted. Together with the beautiful woman who once saved his life, Kendrick enters a deadly arena where the only currency is blood, where frightened whispers speak of violence yet to come and where Kendricks life-and the fate of the free world-may ultimately rest in the powerful hands of a mysterious and deadly figure known only as the Mahdi. BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Robert Ludlums The Bourne Identity.
Ludlum's 14th suspense caper has the earmarks of all his others: the mysterious cabal involved in global conspiracy; the surges of sudden violence; the careful veneer of local color to provide authenticity; and the rather graceless prose punctuated with breathless italicizing to keep the suspense going. The protagonist this time is Congressman Evan Kendrick, who secretly goes to Oman to rescue a large group of Americans held hostage there. Disguised as a terrorist and aided by the young sultan and a beautiful American-Arab agent, Kendrick succeeds so well that his anonymity is betrayed, and he becomes an instant hero back home, as well as a reluctant presidential candidate. After his cover is blown, however, he also becomes the target for terrorist assassination. Behind all the evildoing is a cabal headed by a man who calls himself the Mahdi, its purpose to acquire the power that money brings by selling arms to religious fanatics. And on this side of the ocean there are other secret forces at work, with awesome power at their command. While violence piles on violence, Ludlum does some high-flown moralizing. The story's underlying philosophy can be found, or at least sought, in the characteristically fuzzy statement: ``The arrogance of blind belief led all the mendacities of human thought.'' Hardcore fans will have fun with this one, but it's not Ludlum's best by a long shot. 500,000 first printing; BOMC main selection; author tour. (March) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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January 31, 1992
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