The Britannia Contract

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( 11 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780881849332: The Britannia Contract

When the British royal yacht, Britannia, is hijacked with Queen Elizabeth aboard, the hijackers demand the removal of troops from Northern Ireland. By the author of The Traitors Contract. 50,000 first printing. $50,000 ad/promo.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

Mann's bid at a Clancy-sized thriller has an elegantly simple premise. Half a dozen IRA terrorists, aided by a couple of Palestinian free-lancers, seize Her Majesty's yacht Britannia as it lies off a Saudi port and hold it and its royal passengers for a fabulous ransom: the withdrawal of all British troops from Northern Ireland within one week. The kidnapping of the British Establishment is nothing new, having already been presented by writers as different as John Gardner and Peter Dickinson. And Mann's hushed reverence for HRH, ``the world's most enduring symbol of grace,'' doesn't give his victims much life. But they don't need much life when they're surrounded by fanatical IRA stalwarts like Dominic Behan, his looting, raping underlings, and his even more sinister mercenary boss, Edward Doyle, a former British marine whose grudge against the Crown is personal rather than political. After the initial violence of its seizure, the Britannia becomes the motionless eye of a political firestorm, as the Prime Minister realizes that a British withdrawal will be followed by vigilante pro-British rioting (Mann is especially convincing at showing the consequences of terrorism in London, in Belfast, even in Boston) and that Doyle plans to sink the Britannia whether or not his demands are met. Obviously a rescue mission is in order; and, fortunately, private radio contact with the royal hostages and their bodyguards will allow the counterterrorist command to coordinate preparations for rescue with a flashy operation in which Special Boat Squadron veteran Colin Lynch (The Traitor's Contract, 1991) will play a decisive role. The sharply realized action sequences make Mann's incredible premise compelling from the starting gun, and his grasp of its geopolitical implications is unnervingly persuasive. Grand summer reading--an outsized, perfectly realized thriller that doesn't carry any of Clancy's extra weight. (First printing of 50,000) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

Mann ( The Traitor's Contract ) has crafted a pip of a thriller. After a state visit to Saudi Arabia, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip are heading home aboard the royal yacht Britannia when it is hijacked by IRA terrorists demanding the evacuation of all British troops from Northern Ireland in one week's time. Moving swiftly from the Red Sea to London to Ulster to Washington, Mann portrays the frenetic responses of terrorists, soldiers, politicians and hostages. Almost everyone schemes against foe and friend: Whitehall is especially internecine and eventually even the terrorists fall out. Coming to the rescue is a small team of British SAS commandos armed with top-secret American high-tech weapons and minisubs, ready to rescue the Queen in a daring attack on the Britannia . Despite over-the-top awe for the Queen as "the world's most enduring symbol of grace" and stock good guys/bad guys, the tale offers good, clean, fast-paced fun. Only cads would carp at the Queen's English when she asks someone to arrange "for Philip and I to speak with our children." Everyone else will keep turning pages. 50,000 first printing; $40,000 ad/promo.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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