Picks and Pans Review: Solo

updated 06/09/1980 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/09/1980 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Jack Higgins

The villain is an internationally famous pianist who performs assassinations because that somehow inspires him to play better. The hero is an aging British commando type who kills because, well, mate, killing is all in the line of duty and it's better than working in the Welsh coal mines. The villain makes the mistake of eliminating the hero's teenage daughter—running her down in his getaway car. There's a heroine, too, a beautiful psychologist specializing in terrorists. Among her lovers is the pianist, the first man to give her pleasure in sex. As a storyteller, Higgins, author of The Eagle Has Landed and, under his real name, Harry Patterson, of To Catch a King, just gets better, stripping his tales to sinew and bone. This kind of commercial fiction, however, used to be more appealing before terrorism became such an easy plot device. (Stein and Day, $11.95)

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