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Hyde, Anthony.

Markham (Ont.), Viking, cl985. 321pp, paper-bound boards, $19.95, ISBN 0-670-80653-6. Distributed by Penguin Canada. CIP

Grades 10 and up
Reviewed by R. Edward Monkhouse

Volume 14 Number 2
1986 March

This novel has all the ingredients for a superb thriller. The inexplicable disappearance of a millionaire fur dealer; his beautiful daughter mysteriously adopted al the end of the Soviet revolution; a journalist and former lover of the daughter, who leads us from Canada and the United States to Europe and Russia in the wake of numerous murders and expatriate Soviets: a hidden horde of gold bullion and the strange circumstances of the infant, adopted daughter all combine where facts are not what they seem. Willing suspension of reality makes this a good read. If the reader is a stickler for detail and reality, then there are some disturbing gaps. Just financing his escapades, after early-on worrying about his finances, and the lack of adequate motivation for his chasing everything down, makes the journalist hero somewhat less than convincing at times. Prolonged and belaboured musings and questionings often get in the way of getting on with the action, as well as stretching beyond what is known. However, this book is after al! intended for entertaining, vicarious adventure, and it does deliver in that arena. As a first novel, we can look forward to future fiction by Hyde as his storytelling skills become honed.

This novel will have appeal for those numerous afficionados of espionage and murder mysteries. For senior high school students and adult readers, it creates a thirst for more information about the Soviet revolution, its leadership, and that era of the 1920s and 30s when socialism held some sway in our capitalistic society. Each locale of the novel creates its own mystery and satisfies frequently. Recommended.

R. Edward Monkhouse, Wellington County Board of Education, Guelph, Ont.
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