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The eighteenth entry in the Quiller espionage series--the first of which garnered Hall an Edgar almost 30 years ago--is as entertaining as its predecessors. Quiller, stoic as ever, is assigned to thwart a resurgent Khmer Rouge movement in Cambodia. The leader of the bloody rebel movement--Pol Pot--is reported to be in poor health. His handpicked successor, General Kheng, is Quiller's target. Left on his own, one can be sure Quiller could handle just about any situation, but as usual, he's saddled with a local control whose enigmatic personality is as much a hindrance as a help. Flockhart is his name, and he's been running a rogue mission parallel to the Bureau's. There's also a sexy photographer who uses her contacts to thwart the Khmer Rouge whenever she can. The series has a strong following, and though there are few surprises here, sometimes that's precisely what devoted fans want. ~--Wes Lukowsky
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In this latest Quiller espionage thriller, the eponymous agent, bored in London, takes on a rogue assignment-one the Bureau has not sanctioned but which is the private effort of one of the ``controls,'' the enigmatic Flockhart. The mission: discover what Pol Pot is up to in his ongoing efforts to return the Khmer Rouge to power. Arriving in Phnom Penh, Quiller finds himself attracted to his first contact, a female French photographer who harbors an important secret, and suspicious of his field director. Following a narrow escape from a Khmer Rouge encampment, Quiller uncovers plans for yet another Cambodian bloodbath, to be directed by General Kheng, the man who has become Pol Pot's successor. As events come to a head, Quiller must either compromise his principles to change a nation's fate or allow millions of lives to be sacrificed. Aficionados of this series will no doubt find much to enjoy here, though a tendency toward repetition continues to mark Hall's style (the frequent use of the term ``killing fields'' becomes particularly irksome). (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved