Title: Thursday at Noon
Author: William F Brown
Length: 348 pages
Rating: 4 StarsAs The New Yorker said, it is “a thriller in the purest cliffhanger vein, Mr. Brown’s technique is flawless. It could only have been learned in a thousand Saturday afternoon movie matinees.”
Cairo, 1962. Richard Thomson is already having a very bad day when someone leaves a corpse lying on his back steps. Its head had been lopped off like a ripe melon, left on the top step where it could look down at itself. Thomson is a burned out CIA Agent and the body belongs to Mahmoud Yussuf, a petty Cairo thief who tried to sell him photographs of a long-abandoned RAF base in the Egyptian desert. What the photos have to do with a dead Israeli Mossad agent, Nazi rocket scientists, the fanatical Moslem Brotherhood, and two missing Egyptian tank regiments could start the next Arab-Israeli War. Alone and on the run, no one believes Thomson’s answers -- not the CIA, the US Ambassador, Colonel Ali Rashid of Egyptian State Security, and most assuredly not Captain Hassan Saleh, of the Homicide Bureau of the Cairo Police.
Like Night of the Generals, this is a murder mystery wrapped inside an international crisis. Tick Toc, Tick Tock! Something is about to blow up in Thomson’s face at Noon on Thursday. -Goodreads
My Thoughts William F. Brown's Thursday at Noon is a literary labyrinth filled with mystery, intrigue, murder, and of course an underdog of a protagonist that readers can't help loving.
Richard Thomson is a man that has reached his bottom. His career with the CIA is in the crapper and the dead body of a rather shady acquaintance has been left on his doorstep.
You don't have to look far to see who everybody thinks is responsible for the stiff. Meanwhile Thompson is insistent that the only stiff that he has killed is a stiff drink.
Things really start to get interesting when our "little spy gone awry" is forced to run for his life Jason Bourne style in a quest to clear his name.
This is a very fast-paced read so full of crosses and double-crosses that it is hard to know who the "good guys" really are.
Though there are a surprising number of characters in this read, they are very well written and easy to follow.
It is also very easy to make the transition into 1962 Cairo.
The only downside of this story is the fact that the author's descriptions tend to be a bit wordy. The pace of the novel takes a nosedive at very inopportune moments because of this, but not to worry, the lapses into flowery prose are soon mowed down by rebounds in dastardly doings and intrigue.