Books: Tick, Tick, Tick

TIME BOMB

by James D. Atwater

Viking; 239 pages; $8.95

The drill is to walk to the bomb alone, describing what can be seen. Major Thomas, weary and middleaged, too old for the game, takes shelter behind a pillar in Westminster Abbey as his friend Osgood makes the first approach. Speak ing for the tape recorder that is the hedge against future failure, Osgood reports that the thing is in a neatly made wooden box, as usual. No wires or fuses are visible. The customary message is scrawled across the top: "Bugger the Queen...

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