From Wiggins (Herself in Love, 1987; John Dollar, 1988; etc.): a novel about ambition, love, and politics that reaches for emotion but is better at capturing attitude. Noah John, at 40-plus, is a tough-talking veteran journalist and head of the London bureau of a newspaper that sounds like the New York Times but isn't. Hard-boiled as Noah may be after having been everywhere and having seen everything (though he's also sensitive, being said to cry too easily), he's still on the lookout for loveand his life is changed forever in 1986, when, covering a natural disaster in Cameroon, he meets the world-famous photojournalist known as Divi (`` `I didn't know you were Noah John,' she said....`I didn't know you're ``Divi'',' I said...''). The beautiful, ambitious, driving, independent, dedicated Divi, who will remind many of a latter-day Leni Riefenstahl, has the real name of Lilith Luciana da Vinci; is the child of parents who were internationally known opera impresarios and voice teachers; has inherited their perfect apartment in Paris; and falls for Noah John in a trice. All is well for a couple of sensually blissful years, until Lilith suddenly gets itchy; is hit by a car in London driven by Romania's Minister of Trade, Adam Pentr£; and in a mini-trice drops Noah for Adam. The result isn't good, Noah falling into midlife despond and Lilith into nightmare, atrocity, and ruthless depravity inside dictator Ceauescu'sand Adam Pentr£'sRomania. Another assignment, however, will bring Noah there also; and though he won't find Liliththat'll have to wait until later, after Adam's mysterious deathhe'll discover more than enough for a single lover, and for any dozen journalists. Romance, adventure, and politics from New York to Paris to London to Berlin to Timioara: Wiggins carries these forward with knowledgeable zest, but the deeper themes just don't have the voices here to lift them convincingly.
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