Picks and Pans Review: Skorpion's Death

updated 02/03/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/03/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

by David Brierley

Cody, the heroine of this snappy spy thriller, was trained in Virginia by The Company, but she became disillusioned and is now in business for herself, headquartered in Paris. A pretty pregnant woman hires Cody to find her husband, a pilot who has disappeared while on a mysterious, moneymaking job. Then a notorious deal maker is killed. Cody, who has worked for the murdered man, finds someone has staked out her apartment, so she flies off to the Middle East, despite warnings from Crevecoeur, the dreaded head of French Sûreté. In Tunisia, Cody makes friends with a blind journalist, sees Crevecoeur almost killed in a plane explosion, watches her hotel burn down and then heads out into the desert to track down Skorpion, a revolutionary group with a sadistic leader. Brierley, who grew up in South Africa and lives in England, has written five other novels, with Cody starring in two of them. Cody has extraordinary skills, stamina and fearlessness, except where spiders are concerned. The plot is comic-book adventure, with sex, sadism and violent deaths, but Brierley writes exceedingly well for this genre. His descriptive passages, especially of the desert, are first-rate. Cody and the author seem to forget entirely how she got mixed up in all this, and the reader never learns exactly what becomes of the pilot. But that doesn't much matter in the context of this sort of Grade-A trash. (Summit, $13.95)

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