RULES OF SILENCE by David Lindsey
REVIEW BY ALEX GRANT.
WARNER BOOKS APRIL 2003.
HARD COVER @ $36.95 Can.
Lindsey has succeeded in projecting the geo-political trends of
the 21st Century just a short distance ahead of the present day
and the implications are dismaying'.
Since 1982 mystery-crime novelist David Lindsey has published a dozen
thrillers often set in Texas on the Gulf of Mexico. His books have been
compared with those of British masters Grahame Green and John Le Carre.
Lindseys oeuvre offers both the eagle-eyed cold-blooded cynicism
of Green and the intricacy and purplish, over-determined prose of Le Carre.
This is an odd melding of very Anglo-Saxon literary styles and pre- and
post-Cold War contents in that Lindseys characters tend to be what
the true Texan would call "hoity-toity",rather reptilian, stiff-necked
and obsessive professionals who are made to suffer all manner of personal
indignities brought upon them by their success or by their former secret
Greens protagonists tend towards the terminally seedy and down-at-heel.
Le Carres Establishment figures circulate and operate a fair number
of notches higher on the social scale, but are often found fading fast,
their devotion to various causes commonly souring as their perception
of the reality of their political era becomes clear.
The method of narration adopted by Lindsey to root his characters in a
plausible and comforting socio-political reality obliges the
writer to devote a great deal of attention to architecture the
homes of his characters are often de-luxe and very inviting domiciles
- and to the abundant flora and fauna, especially the birds, of the South-West,
and to all aspects of The Good Life led by the wealthy in
modern America at its most affluent. These insistent, gracious-living
details lend a verisimilitude to the unholy schemes that threaten the
rich. Lindsey seems to want to subvert the complacency of the entitled
world of prosperity that has benignly molly-coddled his people. Film-director
Alfred Hitchcock often used this approach to shock audiences into an awareness
of external threats to the status-quo. And, of course, the agonizing events
of September 11th forced Americans to take a long look at their future
prospects in a world where religious fanatics run amok.
The authors latest thriller is unerringly and elegantly cut from
the same top-grade cloth as its predecessors, :an ingenious and terrifying
new variant upon the classic kidnapping plot that brings this most vile
of crimes right up to the minute the vicious terrorism tactics
that have held sway since 9/11/2001. The ultra-violent tactics of Colombian
and Mexican drug-lord abductors are imported wholesale into the U.S. The
victim is hi-tech I.T. tycoon Titus Cain whose days of blessed, bountiful
contentment are drastically cut short when he becomes the target of ruthless
kidnapper Cayetano Luquin, a sadist who has honed his criminality within
the cruel, heartless regime of the late Colombian arch-terrorist Pablo
Escobar whose dyed-in-the wool villainy brought an entire country to its
"Tano" wants $64,000,000.00 - a quarter of the fortune made
in advanced medical software by Titus- and he begins to methodically cause
horrendous accidents that bring about the deaths of Cains
nearest and dearest. Shocked by the utter cruelty of these repulsive accidents
Cain resolves to liquidate his tormentor and chooses to hire anti-terrorism
expert, Garcia Burden, a man with his own agenda for Luquin.
Cain and Burden devise a strategy that will rid the world of this monster
and his acolytes. Their scheme is completely outside of the law and Burden
is a new kind of operative who has the blessing of an ineffectual, outdated
F.B.I. and an equally anachronistic C.I.A. Fortunately a minor glitch
in Luquins intense surveillance of his quarry induces his henchman
Jorge Macias to become a turncoat. And so Cain finds that he can fight
back and prevent this monster from damaging countless other innocent lives.
Always a good man who attempted to treat his employees with dignity and
kindness Cain is forced to become as brutal and unforgiving as his torturer.
The intricacies of the sinister kidnap plot and its even more repellent
counter-offensive allow Lindsey bring to bear almost futuristic weapons
of cybernetic surveillance and gadgets galore. Lindsey convinces us that
he and his characters for whom money is no impediment are
at the very cutting-edge of todays most sophisticated technology
in the. universe of covert operations, operations that are diabolical
in their implications for our future within a democratic society. When
even the most cosseted and protected of citizens are so vulnerable to
an insidious attack by total strangers coveting their wealth then nobody
If such relentless beasts, albeit highly sophisticated beasts devoted
to greed and self-glory as "Tano" Luquin do exist on the fringes
of todays world of international terrorism we have much to fear.
Lindsey in THE RULES OF SILENCE convinces us that such criminals will
before long attempt to steal the wealth of the First World no less vigorously
than they have ransacked the coffers of the Third World. Every fascist
dictator since 1945 from Marcos to Saddam Hussein has stolen billions
of dollars from their peoples. Why should big-time crooks and political
ideologues of every stripe not wish to do the same? Banks of the highest
repute in Switzerland hoarded the Nazi spoils wrenched from the Jews of
Europe. The drug cartels had no difficulty finding official
money- launderers eager for their share of the spoils, too.
Writer Lindsey has succeeded in projecting the geo-political trends of
the 21st Century just a short distance ahead of the present day and the
implications are dismaying.
© Alex Grant April 7th 2003
all rights reserved