Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Spy Who Came for Christmas-David Morrell

The Spy Who Came for Christmas
David Morrell
Vanguard, Nov 2008, $15.95
ISBN: 9781593154875

The snow coming down on Christmas Eve in Santa Fe makes for a picturesque site, but two men, once friends, know otherwise that one or both of them will turn the pure white snow red with blood. Raging Russian Mafiosi Andrei feels betrayed by Pyotyr, whom he mentored; he personally will kill him, but must act fast because if he fails to retrieve and deliver the package Pyotyr stole, his superior will assassinate him.

Pyotyr gave away his cover inside the Russian mafia to save the so-called peace baby whose popular religious father proclaimed him to be the bringer of world peace. Pyotyr is Paul Kagan who kidnapped the baby because he could not watch idly an infant being sold. He is hurt, tired and alone when he meets Meredith Brody and her twelve year old son Cole. They are planning to flee into the night to escape from abusive violent family patriarch Ted before he kills one of them in an alcoholic rage. Mother and son help the spy who has not quite come in from the cold carrying a baby.

This is an exciting Santa Fe Christmas thriller with an interesting cast developed just enough to make the events plausible. The plot is on the slender side, but fans of David Morrell and anyone who appreciates a fast-paced Yuletide action tale will enjoy this fun entry even if the baby seems too peaceful.

Harriet Klausner