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Monday, April 11, 2011

ESPIONAGE CENTRAL: INTO THE VOLCANO!

ESPIONAGE CENTRAL: INTO THE VOLCANO!

FORREST DEVOE, JR.

The year is 1962. John Glenn is in orbit, Audrey Hepburn is breakfasting outside Tiffany's, and Elvis is recording "Bossa Nova Baby." The Gibson and Détente are both in fashion, and both are served icy cold. And in the Foreigners' Quarter of Istanbul, a middle-aged Dutch spy has just met a fiery death.

Enter Mallory and Morse. Jack Mallory is a laconic ex-soldier from the oilfields of CorpusChristi. Laura Morse is a frostily beautiful Boston Brahmin adept at Floating Hand karate. Both are top operatives for the Consultancy, a shadowy covert-services network run by the enigmatic British ex-commando known as Gray. The Consultancy exists to execute those missions too dangerous or too dirty for the world's conventional intelligence agencies. The murdered man was their friend and colleague, and Gray has ordered them to take revenge.

It won't be easy. All signs point to athlete-turned-arms-dealer Anton Rauth, a man of vast means, refined tastes, and questionable sanity, currently holed up in his HQ inside an extinct South Seas volcano. His minions include two battle-hardened ex-GRU assassins: the dour Sasha Kurski and the genially murderous Piotr Nemerov, both rigorously trained and utterly remorseless. It's Mallory's job to let himself be captured. It's Laura's job to help him fight his way free again. With what they learn, they must penetrate the "nightclub" called Club Europa and then—armed with little but scuba gear and nerve—Rauth's island fortress itself.

But as they know all too well, Rauth is expecting them. He may even have factored them into his plans. And his plans—for both Mallory and America—are literally earthshaking . . .

Into the Volcano is an homage to James Bond, Modesty Blaise, and the golden age of the spy thriller, a time when America was more innocent and its enemies possessed a dash of Space Age style. It takes the reader from bustling New York to steamy Istanbul, from Cannes' balmy breezes to the island known as the Dragon's Throne, and at last into the molten heart of the Cold War.

DeVoe is the pseudonym for Shamus winner Max Phillips (Fade To Blonde).

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