Thursday, 25 January 2001

Martin Russell: Death Fuse (1980)

Edition: Collins, 1981
Review number: 728

Bombing campaigns seem to be something that happen in big cities nowadays. In London in the nineties we had the bombing of Bishopsgate and Canary Wharf by the IRA (I was near enough to hear the latter), and nail bombs in Soho and Brick Lane set by a lone killer. When Death Fuse came out, there were fewer, particularly of the second type; it is about the police investigation into a campaign of more or less random attacks on crowded places in Central London - restaurants, nightclubs, cinemas and so on.

Like all serial killers, this bomber is difficult to trace - because no motive links him to the victims - and causes terror - because no one knows where he might strike next. Though the characters in this novel are fairly stereotypical (psychopathic loner on one side, innocent victims and solid policemen on the other), it grabs the attention because of its subject matter and the competent writing.

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