I read this book about 28-Nov-2004. I've read this book before. The book is copyright 1979. This note was last modified Thursday, 22-May-2014 15:32:49 PDT.
This is book 9 of the "David Audley" series.
This note contains spoilers for the book.
I've also got a general page on Anthony Price.
I guess this would be the third spectacularly wonderful book in the series, or perhaps the first super-nova. Something like that.
It starts out with Frances Fitzgibbon as "Marilyn Francis", investigating industrial espionage -- or rather, positioning herself to do so later. When Paul Mitchell is sent to pull her out and take her up to Yorkshire on an Irish problem, which she's not cleared for. Colonel Butler doesn't particularly want or need her, either.
And she's been assigned to be a folk-tales specialist (based on Paul having noticed the books in her apartment -- actually her dead husband's books, not her own) when she's actually a Faulkner expert (or was back in university anyway). So there's some lovely discussion of what folk-tales (and fairy-tales) are, and where Tolkien fits; making this the third book with considerable Tolkien content. And there's at least one more coming, Cathy Audley is a Tolkien fan and knows her father is one of the Rangers.
And there's a suspicious object in the library, where three high-priority Irish targets are somehow being allowed to meet (over the written objections of the security people). And Michael O'Leary is on the loose and thought to be in the area. And we're just up to page 45.
The internal process of Frances being Marilyn is fascinating, too. Just read it, no point in my trying to describe it.
I like so many things about this book. There are so many layers going on -- internal politics, friendly external politics, unfriendly external politics, personalities, history (though no real separate historical problem this time). The investigation of Butler over time (and time that pretty much picks up where The '44 Vintage leaves off).
Butler is to be smeared with murdering his wife, 9 years ago. Instead, Frances manages to prove his alibi; and tells Control about it sooner than would have been wise, and she and Audley and Jake Shapiro rush to where Butler and Mitchell are about to take O'Leary -- or the other way around now. Yeah, I'm avoiding the even worse spoiler on exactly how that bit comes out.
We also see Jock Maitland, who wasn't available to delouse the car in The Alamut Ambush, and get our first glimpse of James Cable just briefly.