Jay Connor's Reviews > The Wolf at the Door

The Wolf at the Door by Jack Higgins
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's review
Apr 12, 2010

really liked it
Read in April, 2010

I have been reading Jack Higgins for quite awhile – at least as far back as the superb “The Eagle has Landed” and the very enjoyable “The White House Connection.” Though recently I have become restless with his main serial characters in British and US intelligence. It also seemed that Higgins was becoming bored, as well. Perhaps the only reason that I picked up “The Wolf at the Door” was the glimmer of energy I saw in last year’s “A Darker Place.” I was rewarded.

Higgins seems revitalized. While he is still featuring the strained Russian-British nexus of his recent stories and his same ol’ same ol’ central characters – Sean Dillon, Sir Charles Ferguson and the Salters – still provide the narrative push, this story is fresh and fun. The energy comes from the totally fascinating back-story of Daniel Holley. Though not introduced until the halfway point, Holley dominates. The impact of this introduction is powerfully amplified by the inside-out nature of the story arch that Higgins has created.
The parallels and juxtapositions of “the troubles” in Northern Ireland, of the 80’s and 90’s particularly, with Arab terrorism is fascinating and powerfully told through Holley’s British Catholic heritage. He becomes radicalized to the IRAs side by a most horrendous, yet believable experience.

Much like I saw earlier this year in Joseph Wambaugh and his “Hollywood Station” series re-birth, the richness and complexity of the imagining of Daniel Holley marks the reemergence of a master of the international thriller. Welcome back, Jack.

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