Picks and Pans Review: Lie Down with Lions

updated 02/17/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/17/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

by Ken Follett

The wild, primitive, embattled land that is Afghanistan is a fine setting for an adventure yarn, as Kipling recognized decades ago. The hero of this new Follett novel is an American CIA agent. The heroine is a beautiful, sex-loving British woman who goes with her husband, a French doctor, to care for Afghan rebels driven into the mountains by the Russians. The story opens with the hero and heroine involved in a heated affair that ends when his undercover role as an antiterrorist infiltrator in Paris is revealed. But he still loves her, and when he is assigned to go to Afghanistan and unite a consortium of chieftains against the Soviets, he leaps at the chance. She meanwhile produces a baby girl—her husband is the father—and every pang, pain and problem during the premature birth is described in harrowing detail. Her husband, the rotter, turns out to be a spy for the Russians, and pretty soon the hero is faced with the problem of escaping through enemy lines with a balky packhorse, an exhausted woman and an infant. Follett is the author of Eye of the Needle, The Key to Rebecca and other spy-genre best-sellers. His great strength is in his female characters—they are smart, strong, independent, and when they love a man, by golly, he knows the game is up. (Morrow, $18.95)

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