In his newest thriller, Follett updates the elements of his popular Eye of the Needle a spy fleeing desperately across a hostile landscape; a woman who must decide between her husband and her lover, opponents in a deadly struggleto contemporary Afghanistan. Jane Lambert discovers that her French doctor husband is really a KGB agent plotting to entrap a rebel leader. Ellis Thaler, spurned by Jane when she learned he was a CIA operative, arrives to conclude a treaty with that same leader. Soon Ellis, Jane, and her infant daughter are fleeing for their lives through treacherous mountain terrain, closely pursued by Russian patrols. As with Eye of the Needle , the implausibilities, the factual errors, and the sometimes trite writing do not slow the forward propulsion of the story. A page-turning escapist adventure that is sure to be a success.BOMC main selection. Charles Michaud, Turner Free Lib., Randolph, Mass.
Follett's new thriller (after Eye of the Needle, The Key to Rebecca) involves cut-throat treachery and mixed-up romances. Jane and Ellis, Americans in Paris, are lovers, but she breaks with him when she learns he's a CIA agent, informing on terrorists. Ellis goes back to the U.S.; Jane marries Jean-Pierre Debout, a French physician, and goes with him to Afghanistan to care for rebel families holding out against the Russian army. Here is where the novel's real action, and its knife-edge tension, begin. After the birth of her baby, Jane discovers that Jean-Pierre is himself spying for the Russians and has caused a massacre of guerrilla fighters who were trapped at the foot of the mountains. Then Ellis reappears, bearing offers of American aid for Afghan leader Masud if the latter can unite his country's quarreling tribes. While Jean-Pierre is conspiring with the S oviet intruders to kill Masud, Ellis, Jane and even the infant girl, the story races to an explosive climax. 200,000 first printing; $200,000 ad/promo; BOMC main selection; author tour. Foreign rights: Writers House. January 31