Picks and Pans Review: Digger

updated 10/27/1997 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 10/27/1997 AT 01:00 AM EST

by Joseph Flynn

Page-Turner of the Week

ON THE STREETS OF fictional Elk River, Ill., a strike against Pentron-ics Systems, the town's largest employer, threatens to turn violent. Belowground, John Fortunato, a former Vietnam War "tunnel rat," has re-created his nightmare of combat in miles of meandering tunnels, where he obsessively replays the death of an Army buddy.

Fortunato reluctantly joins the action aboveground when his uncle, a union organizer, is killed. The veteran, joined by union lawyer Jill Baxter, focuses suspicion on Pentronics owner Anthony Hunt, a corporate predator with plans to sell out the business—and the town.

Flynn is up to more than old war games in this deftly mapped thriller: Digger carries a more disturbing, and deeper, message. Readers will dig it. (Bantam, $22.95)

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