Last Update 7/15/19

Hold Down a Shadow by Geoffrey Jenkins, Authorís Choice, 1989  

Terrible book by an author who should have known better. A terrorist plans to sabotage a dam in Lesotho and temporarily teams up with a gang of sometimes terrorist, sometimes just criminal bad guys who attempt to double cross him. They kidnap an international financier and demand a ransom, then booby trap a marvelous clock to trigger an explosion. The complexities of their plans are completely unnecessary and make no sense in context. The hero finds them through a series of coincidences and fantastic leaps of intuition. The priceless clock is stolen, even though the authorities know an attempt is planned, by a single man who walks into the exhibition hall with a military rifle concealed under his jacket. Appallingly badly plotted. 7/16/19

As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner, Vintage, 1930    

This novel reminds me a bit of Erskine Caldwell. The mother of a family is dying and her family builds a coffin and prepares to take her by wagon to be buried in her home town, several days travel away. The characters are all a bit odd and their reactions to the death are strange as well. A storm washes away several bridges, which makes the journey even more difficult, and they almost lose the coffin on two occasions. By the time they reach their destination the body is pretty ripe. This was not an uplifting story and the widower husband in particular is an unpleasant though skillfully created character. 7/13/19

In Harmís Way by Geoffrey Jenkins, Fontana, 1986 

A plan to create a new way to contain nuclear waste becomes the target of a terrorist group who sneak a bomb into the facility just before a demonstration. The inventor and his lover, a former terrorist of sorts, team up with a French intelligence officer, but the villains are quite competent and it looks like they wonít be able to stop them. There is a lot of time spent on technical matters, which is rather surprising since these are all imaginary, based on the existence of two fictional minerals. Lots of violence and a surprisingly large part of the story is told from the point of view of the villains. 7/9/19

Fireprint by Geoffrey Jenkins, Fontana, 1984 

 A British engineer is sent to take charge of an accident ridden drilling project in southernmost Africa. There are suspicious Russians and Americans in the vicinity and some of the accidents are clearly sabotage. Both of the other parties consist of spies and there is even a plan to set off a nuclear bomb in South Africa. The action scenes are well handled but the plot is something less than convincing this time. The Russians have a fake drilling platform that is actually a missile tracking station and all of the resources it distributes to other countries are secretly brought in by tankers, yet no one has noticed this even though the platform itself is the center of an international controversy?

 

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