Accept the basic premise here--that the U.S. is conspiring to steal control of Europe's oil reserves, starting with...

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THE FRENCH DECISION

Accept the basic premise here--that the U.S. is conspiring to steal control of Europe's oil reserves, starting with France's--and this is a serviceable, occasionally grisly serving of double-agenting and cat-and-mouse chases. Osborn's semi-hero is Aaron Zeismann, a National Security Council aide who is really a half-Arab French agent long ago planted in the U.S. (the much-rumored ""De Gaulle mole""). And Aaron has gotten into a prime position to monitor--and perhaps subvert--the U.S. President's foul new plan: he has joined with big U.S. industrialists in a scheme to bribe French officials and gain control of France's oil reserves and entire economy. But there's a relentless, ruthless CIA agent guarding this scheme--and somehow he has caught the whiff of Aaron's secret duplicity, and he's ever on Aaron's trail. (Was it he who killed and mutilated Aaron's dog?) So time is running out, and Aaron's only hope of foiling the scheme is to persuade a top U.S. Senator to expose it: he needs someone in the operation to confess all to the Senator. This quest takes him to France--where he pressures the scheme's financial consultant, Jedder, into spilling the beans. . . while picking up with old flame Margita (a double-agent herself) and realizing that he has come to love wife Juliet (whom he married only for purposes of cover). The finale: Aaron's attempt to arrange a rendezvous/escape for Jedder and the Senator--which is thoroughly sabotaged by the ubiquitous, deadly CIA/corporate/White House forces (who've already murdered a troublesome French official). Some decent characterizations (Aaron's relationship with his fatherly French spymaster), some bloody action (the villains are into unspeakable tortures)--generally effective and understated, not-too-knotty international suspense.

Pub Date: July 4, 1980

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1980