Cover image for The perpignon exchange
The perpignon exchange
Kiefer, Warren, 1929-
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New York, N.Y. : D.I. Fine, [1990]

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Booklist Review

David Perpignon has escaped--from an overdramatic if sensual wife, from his Arab terrorist past, from his life of petty crimes. Now he's traveling on his French passport, sipping champagne in first class with a beautiful German photographer, blissfully distanced from the seedy-looking guys in the bad suits and the loud American package-tour types languishing in tourist. Life is good. Suddenly the bad dressers reveal themselves as terrorists. The plane is rerouted to Libya, and Perpignon, aka Dahoud el Beida, is in it up to his eyebrows. The terrorists assume he's one of them, and he's recruited as a double agent by a group planning a rescue attempt. In fact, he's neither terrorist nor double agent: he's suave, he's a liar, he's desperate, and he might be falling in love. Kiefer wrote the well-received western, Outlaw [BKL S 15 89], and won an Edgar Award for The Lingula Code. His stories defy categorizing, but his razor-sharp plots and copious helpings of derring-do will please thriller readers of every stripe. ~--Peter Robertson

Publisher's Weekly Review

Kiefer ( Outlaw ) combines a timely theme with an offbeat protagonist to produce a fast-reading, entertaining thriller. Narrator Dahoud el Beida, aka David Perpignon per his forged passport, is on the run from Egyptian authorities and his overbearing wife, Solange, when his flight from Athens to Vienna is hijacked. His Palestinian passport wins him the terrorists' approbation; the brutal leader asks him to help display dead bodies at various airports on the way to Libya. This puts Beida on the front page of every newspaper around the world and makes him a hero to top terrorist Kahlil Mulduum, who asks Beida to deliver luggage to one of ``their own'' in Malta. But Beida's window of escape slams shut at the Maltese airport when the beleaguered flimflam man is hauled in by CIA agents and offered the Hobson's choice of a U.S. trial or a mission in Libya. He chooses the latter, hoping to outwit Mulduum, flee and resume life as Perpignon. But Solange turns up to sponge off his ``fame,'' and U.S. operatives posing as businessmen pressure him into aiding their daring plan to rescue hostages from an ancient dungeon. A whirlwind of dangers meets Beida at every turn. Readers who can muster a mild suspension of disbelief will be rewarded with a sensational ending. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Kiefer's latest (his last novel is The Outlaw, LJ 9/1/89) is the tale of Dahoud El Beida, a half-Palestinian, half-French con man who wants only to live a quiet retirement in Vienna as proprietor of a pastry shop. However, a bizarre chain of events keeps the antihero from his goal. Funny, exciting, sexy, and fresh, this is a romp worthy of Clive Cussler--though to Kiefer's credit, there is less emphasis on high-tech gadgetry and more on story line and character development. The large cast includes power-mad terrorists who kill for fun, several hostages, and a group of men whose job it is to rescue them on behalf of the United States. With so many heroes and villains, it is difficult to keep the cast straight, but this is a small flaw in an otherwise marvelous misadventure. For all fiction collections.-- Bettie Alston Spivey, Charlotte Mecklenburg P.L., N.C. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.