A tense and nerve-shattering classic from the highly acclaimed masster of action and suspense.
A ROLLING FOR KNOX is how the journalists describe the Presidential motorcade as it enters San Francisco across the Golden Gate.
Even the ever-watchful FBI believe it is impregnable - as it has to be with the President and two Arab potentates aboard.
But halfway across the bridge the unthinkable happens.
Before the eyes of the world a master criminal pulls off the most spectacular kidnapping in modern times...
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 368 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
- Publication Date: 04/02/1987
- Category: Thriller / suspense
- ISBN: 9780006144946
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Review by scottcholstad
I'm not really sure how I feel about this one. I normally like MacLean novels, and to a certain degree, I enjoyed this, but I think it had some flaws too.The book is about the hijacking of the US president and an Arab king and prince on their coach in the middle of the Golden Gate bridge during a visit to San Francisco. Everything has been meticulously planned out. The bridge is wired with explosives. Three coaches are hijacked; the other two contain journalists and FBI agents. (MacLean somehow thinks that FBI agents protect the president, not the Secret Service.) Branson, the bad guy, and his 17 men take over and demand half a billion dollars, among other things. Fighting against them is Revson, an FBI agent posing as a photographer, who is under immediate and aggravating suspicion for being something other than what he is. Branson doesn't trust him, but has him searched and discovers nothing, so.... Revson enlists the aid of a beautiful blonde to get messages to the head of the FBI and the VP, as well as others, and to get their coded responses. He uses an ambulance for this. The ambulance delivers all sorts of unlikely weapons and the powers that be deliver a submarine for his assistance. He starts executing a psychological warfare operation against Branson and his men and it works and there's a final show down to end the book. The ending is abrupt and, in my opinion, deeply unsatisfying.Among the things I didn't like about this book was the fact that the bad guy was so much more likeable than the good guy. He had so much more personality. Revson was a cold fish. He went about his business like a robot. Another thing I didn't like was the dialogue. I think this is one of MacLean's real weaknesses. No matter where the setting -- Brazil, Britain, Africa, the Mediterranean, the US, the Netherlands -- the people all sound the same -- like upper class British people. It's like he's never talked to an American before. I don't think he got "American" down very well for this novel. Another thing I didn't like was the opening was pretty good. It had a lot of action. Then for the remainder of the book, it really kind of just dragged. It was pretty boring. Maybe I shouldn't compare, but it's hard not to.So, normally I would give a MacLean book a four or five star review, and I was going to give it four, but upon reflection, I think it's really only worth three stars. I'm not sure I would recommend it as a thriller. Maybe if you run out of other books....