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The Gun Runner's Daughter

by Neil Gordon

Random House

I'd be surprised if the majority of the reviews for this book didn't use the phrase "a taut political thriller," and I suppose this won't be an exception. Gordon's The Gun Runner's Daughter takes us through the crazy mixed-up world of international arms dealers, and it seems a business only slightly less complicated than the laws that govern it.

Allison Rosenthal is the proverbial daughter, and the book focuses on her deft maneuvering of the events surrounding the arrest and scapegoating of her father. At the same time, she's toying with the affections of two men key to her father's case, prosecuting attorney Dee Dennis and investigative reporter Nicky Dymitryck (proud owner of a rare '56 Mustang). As the plot weaves and thickens, I realize that my knowledge of constitutional law and judiciary procedure is lacking, as several key twists in the case depend on these details. Gordon does a fine job of summarizing fine legal points, however, and it hardly slows the book's quick pace.

The Gun Runner's Daughter was an enjoyable read, somewhere between action-packed spy thriller and fictionalized expose. Several details of the international arms trade still remain sketchy, but that's OK -- I'm not planning on opening a missile store any time soon.

--Anton Wagner

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