The Enemy: 2500 Headwords

The Enemy: 2500 Headwords

3.4 (85 ratings by Goodreads)
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On a beautiful summer evening in the quiet town of Marlow, a young woman is walking home from church. She passes a man who is looking at the engine of his car. He turns round, smiles at her ...and throws acid into her face. Then her father, the scientist George Ashton, disappears. And her sister, Penny, discovers that her husband-to-be, Malcolm, is a government agent. Why has Ashton disappeared, and why is Malcolm told to hunt for him? Who is George Ashton, anyway?show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 128 pages
  • 128 x 194 x 10mm | 199.58g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • black and white illustrations
  • 0194230864
  • 9780194230865
  • 2,073,704

Review Text

Combining a tremendously beleaguered, tremendously sympathetic narrator-hero with post-Asilomar worries over the hazards of DNA research, crafty Mr. Bagley comes up with one of his tightest character adventures ever. Malcolm Jaggard is the man-in-between, a British intelligence officer whose quest for a normal private life is thwarted when his fiancee's sister becomes the victim of an acid-throwing attack - an inexplicable incident that leads to an even more inexplicable one: fiancee Penelope's millionaire father decides to disappear. Who is this George Ashton? Malcolm's bosses at Intelligence clue him in: as luck would have it, Mal's intended father-in-law is a Russian genius-scientist defector who has spent 30 years in England, apparently just being a businessman. Or has he been secretly applying his super-mind to current research? Daughter Penelope is in genetics. Could there be a link? If so, where are his research findings hidden - and who's trying to appropriate them? Malcolm locates Ashton in Sweden, but his snow-chase attempt to lure him home ends up with a dead father-in-law-to-be and a hostile ex-fiancee, who's preoccupied, in any case, with the safety conditions at a DNA research center in Scotland. A toy-model railroad worth 31,000 pounds supplies - in marvelous code - many of the answers, but Malcolm must head north to Scotland for the rest of them, exposing himself to the dangers of E. coli and recombinant DNA. Bagley's power-hungry villain needn't have been such a stock-figure, but otherwise this master suspense writer works in full-color depth - the internal backbiting of covert government, the unstoppable momentum of scientists. As a result, a solid chunk of fanciful suspense is marbled with factual silvers of lingering fear. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Rating details

85 ratings
3.4 out of 5 stars
5 20% (17)
4 26% (22)
3 33% (28)
2 16% (14)
1 5% (4)
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