Robert Halliday arrives at a daring and ingenious plan after he is hired by Jessica Tovey to extricate her father from an African prison
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Murphy's (Dance with a Diamond) central gimmick here stands out nicely but the surrounding terrain is rather flat. In the mid-'70s, Robert Halliday, ex-Special Forces for Her Majesty's Government, occasional mercenary and freelance journalist, is hired by Jessica Tovey to help spring her father from the jail of a tin-pot African dictator. Jawota Garube is the capricious, often-brutal and semiliterate leader of Ghat, a neighbor of Idi Amin's Uganda. After being menaced by mysterious Africans in England and France, the independent and resourceful Halliday hits on an ingenious scheme. He assembles a machine that transmits low-frequency "infra-sounds" that can cause effects from nausea to highly localized earthquakes. How Halliday uses this physiological compulsion on Garube forms the violent climax of the book. The plot is clever and the action fast and usually bloody. But few of the characters are quite believable, notably Halliday and Jessica, whose ideas and emotions aren't worth all that ink. Even with touches of humor the depiction of Garube may offend some readers: his dialogues read like burlesques of a minstrel show.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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