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Douglas Rutherford

Collision Course

Macmillan 1978

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For a brief moment the square in front of the Casino was quiet. Then, exactly fifteen seconds before Tom Donovan was due, one of the green and white Mascots burst Into view, flashed through the double corner and plunged down the steep hill. The sound of drivers changing gear for the Metropole hairpin had become so regular and stereotyped that any alteration in the sound pattern was immediately noticeable. As the Mascot passed under the footbridge half-way down the hill, every spectator in the Casino grandstands knew that something was wrong. Instead of the blips of a series of downward changes the roar of the engine rose to an over-revving scream. The shriek of tyres sounded like a pack of wild dogs gone mad. Then came the sickening crunch of metal on metal and the whoosh of high-octane petrol igniting. Tom Donovan, strapped in his cockpit and rocketing towards the burning wreck, already had trouble enough. In a crash at Long Beach his car had killed a young woman spectator. Her husband, unhinged by witnessing the tragedy, had followed Tom to Monte Carlo, vowing to kill him in the course of the Monaco Grand Prix. And Tom had other problems too, not least the way his own wife was reacting to the strain of marriage to a man whose life was so often at risk. Tom is a natural hero, essentially a simple man committed to the intensely active life of a racing driver. This is the story of the terrible pressures which build up on him during the days of practising and the horrific threat which hangs over the race itself. Monaco in race week is splendidly depicted - a crowded, hectic world of glamour and gloss, money and excitement, greed and ruthlessness. All this adds up to something rare - a story that is absolutely exciting from beginning to end. The author really knows about modern Formula One racing and we are proud to welcome him to our list with such a spell-binding suspense novel.

Douglas Rutherford

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