Books by W.T. Tyler

Released: Jan. 1, 1998

Powerfully despairing, Graham Greenelike tale of romance and alienation in the blasted African bush, from our foremost chronicler of Washington's faceless bureaucracy and the lives it so blithely consumes (Last Train from Berlin, 1994, etc.). As the Vietnam War makes a mess of US foreign policy in Southeast Asia, footloose American foreign-service careerist Hugh Mathews finds himself transferred from Eden-like, pre-invasion Lebanon to a grim, gloomy diplomatic compound in the former Belgian Congo. A bachelor with little patience for political frippery (he likens diplomacy to ``an old whore trying to remember when she'd been a virgin''), he's resigned to terminal futility—until he falls for Blakely Ogden, the bronzed, blond wife of the embassy's insipid consul, Jeffrey. Childless and stifled by a loveless marriage, Blakely confides her fascination with tribal masks and other artifacts of African culture. Hoping to experience something more than the sublime ennui of diplomatic protocol, and perhaps discover some interesting antiques for his friend, Mathews begins to run pointless errands in the blighted, inhospitable countryside with fellow loner Ken McAuliffe, a burned-out idealist who ``like most incorrigibly honest people, had no sense of the mystery in himself.'' After a passionate affair with Mathews, Blakely flees her lover and her husband, leaving no forwarding address. Then McAuliffe quits the service and is blown to bits by a land mine while helping refugees escape, and Mathews finds himself banished for his misdemeanors- -among them the discovery that his local drinking buddies are outlaw revolutionaries. He ends up back in Washington with a dull desk job. Overwhelmed by a life of so much futility, Mathews is suddenly reborn when he stumbles on Blakely again. Together, the two finally experience what passes for contentment in the rustic Virginia woods. Thick with bilious resentment and impotent rage: a trenchant, eloquently crafted drama of lost souls who find salvation where they least expect it. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 11, 1994

From ex-foreign service officer Tyler (The Lion and the Jackal, 1988, etc., etc.): an engrossing cold war drama with a big international cast of characters, and with settings ranging from Washington, D.C., to Paris and Berlin. When Kevin ``Kip'' Corkery, a junior CIA officer and former US Navy Lieutenant, is appointed ``action officer'' to investigate the sudden disappearance of one of the agency's senior career officers, Frank Dudley, he takes on the task with an active independence and fresh competence that surprise his less than forthcoming department heads and superiors. Corkery's pursuit of Dudley and of the truth about his suspect loyalties to other intelligence organizations- -those of both friend and foe, including KGB, MI5, And FBI—is complicated by the shadowy presence of Russian Major Alexi Andreyev and his own former comrades and Western contacts, as well as by the named organizations' inherent distrust of each other. The unfolding story of double and triple twists is revealed through events as experienced in turn by Dudley, Andreyev, and Corkery: ``Every conspiratorial bureaucracy views its failure as its antagonist's victory,'' suggests one narrator, ``whether the State Department in combat with the Pentagon, the Pentagon with the Office of Management and Budget, CIA with the FBI, or Washington with Moscow.'' With aplomb, the various agencies stretch their legs to chase their enemies—and their own tails. Expert and entertaining forays into the outdated mind-sets of early cold war counterintelligence—and a vintage spy story in the tradition of Greene or le CarrÇ. Read full book review >