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The Fifth Profession
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Gripping adventure, suspense, and espionage are standard ingredients of Morrell's novels. Hired by wealthy and powerful clients as an executive protector, Savage is assigned to rescue Rachel Stone from her sadistic husband on the Greek island of Mykonos. Joined by Akira, his Japanese counterpart, Savage discovers this case extends far beyond merely protecting and safely delivering a client. Pursued by unknown outside forces, the threesome struggle to stay alive and solve a mystery that spans continents and brings horrifying memories to the surface. Bizarre circumstances involving psychosurgery, samurai, and CIA intrigue create an incredible, fast-paced thriller. The plot--if far-fetched--is strong, and the characters are wonderfully drawn. --Nancy Bard, Jefferson Sci-Tech, Alexandria, VA

The author of The Brotherhood of the Rose and First Blood , which introduced Rambo, has written a tale with intriguing potential as an exploration of memory, time and identity, but the promise is squandered in a welter of confusion. Ex-SEAL Savage (identified only by his surname), is an ``executive protector,'' a member of the ``fifth profession'' who provide protection and vengeance for their clients. Assigned by the cadre's founder to guard a Japanese tycoon just arrived in the U.S., Savage barely survives a murderous attack during which the tycoon and Savages' Japanese counterpart, bodyguard Akira, are apparently killed. Months later, on a mission to rescue the American wife of an abusive Greek shipping magnate, Savage encounters Akira again. Each man recalls seeing the other die. Joining forces to solve the mystery, they discover that the hotel where the ``killings'' occurred never existed, and that there's no trace of Savage's stay in a Harrisburg hospital. When the ``murdered'' tycoon appears on TV leading anti-American rallies in Japan, Savage and Akira head there, the abused wife in tow. Much violence, great danger, CIA involvement and lots of mental anguish precede the gory, sentimental end, by which time readers will long have tired of the murky diction, e.g.: ``arteries swelling, blood soaring through them.'' 100,000 first printing; $150,000 ad/promo. (May)

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