Smoke Screen by Vincent Patrick
A Novel

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Synopsis

In the wee hours of the morning, four men in latex masks enter the elegant Montclair hotel in midtown Manhattan. After detaining the night staff, Frank Belmonte, one of the best jewel thieves in the business, breaks into the safe-deposit boxes held by the rich old residents of the hotel. "Frankie Rocks" takes roughly ten million dollars worth of jewels from the boxes. The heist seems to be running smoothly until some unexpected guests arrive at the hotel and the burglars are forced to take them as last-minute hostages. But these are no ordinary hotel guests, and three of the four thieves aren't really looking for jewels. Their agenda is one of national security.

One of the hostages is a renegade Cuban doctor who has smuggled a deadly airborne virus out of the Angolan jungle. The Cuban government has threatened to unleash this epidemic on America unless the President meets Castro's demands for an immediate, complete end to the economic embargo on Cuba. To thwart this international blackmail, CIA director Linwood Cutshaw needs to capture the doctor before he releases the virus on American soil, but he must create a smoke screen, so the Cuban authorities won't know the doctor has fallen into U.S. government hands. Cutshaw has recruited Teddy Tedesco, an honest ex-NYPD cop, two ex-CIA operatives, and Frank Belmonte for this nervy scheme -- but only Frank thinks they are out for the jewels. All at once, their elaborate plans go awry and the thieves must face the unexpected. The quirky team of Teddy and Frank is forced to work together to root out the missing jewels while the enraged doctor prepares to inflict a new black plague on millions of unsuspecting Americans.

 

About Vincent Patrick

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Published January 6, 1999 by William Morrow. 352 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Smoke Screen

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Cutshaw, who has bugged Castro’s privacy, knows that the horrible hemorrhagic virus is being delivered to Manhattan, where it will be “administered” by the Cuban doctor who brought it back from an isolated Zairean village.

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Publishers Weekly

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It doesn't take long before the uh-ohs start piling up in this solid thriller exploring a worldwide germ menace by the author of The Pope of Greenwich Village. Thanks to a virus discovered in Zaire in

Jan 04 1999 | Read Full Review of Smoke Screen: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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Patrick places these two characters in a world where nearly everyone else is out for themselves, including gangsters who want to get made, CIA agents who try clean house and federal agents who see a chance for the score of a lifetime.

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