Wildcat Essay - Critical Essays

Craig Thomas


Sir Kenneth de Vere Aubrey has had a rather distinguished career in the field of espionage. So much so, in fact, that shortly after exposing a conspiracy to overthrow the Soviet government by hardline elements within the Kremlin (SNOW FALCON), he was elevated to the position of Director-General of the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS). Then came his greatest challenge: A KGB frame-up not only discredited Aubrey, but put a Soviet agent in place as his successor (LION’S RUN). Nevertheless, Aubrey, with a little help from his friends, was able to escape the trap laid by his old enemy Brigitte Winterbach, the head of East German intelligence, and unmask the traitor who sought to control the SIS.

Unfortunately, Aubrey soon learned that “no good deed goes unpunished” inasmuch as the Establishment did not want to know that yet another traitor was securely ensconced within the highest ranks of the bureaucracy. Thus, as WILDCAT opens, Aubrey is, for all practical purposes, being put out to pasture--ostensibly as a reward for a lifetime of service. Aubrey, however, is not interested in retirement, and seizes the opportunity for one last endeavor --the defection and interrogation of Brigitte Winterbach’s son, Kurt.

The mission, however, goes awry, leading to the accidental death of Kurt Winterbach. Meanwhile, Aubrey’s foster son Tim Gardiner stumbles onto a Russian scheme to turn the mountain kingdom of Nepal into another vassal state. Tim is soon on the run, and Aubrey, bereft of official status, must evade Brigitte’s vengeance and the considerable resources of the KGB while trying to survive, save Tim, and alert his former masters to the peril in Kathmandu.

WILDCAT moves from London to Moscow to East Berlin to Nepal and intermediate stops in between to present a multi-layered tale of betrayal, intrigue, and action-packed sequences which grip the reader by the throat. Craig Thomas has produced yet another cliff-hanger of a book--one which is all too plausible, given the political instability of south-central Asia.