It took only ten, at most twelve, seconds for the Bell 47 chopper to touch down in the courtyard of the Acatitla maximum...

READ REVIEW

THE 10-SECOND JAILBREAK: The Helicopter Escape of Joel David Kaplan

It took only ten, at most twelve, seconds for the Bell 47 chopper to touch down in the courtyard of the Acatitla maximum security prison in Santa Marta, Mexico, scoop up Joel David Kaplan, U.S. sugar and molasses millionaire and mixer in Latin political intrigue serving a long sentence for murder, and whirrrr away, free as a breeze, leaving his jailers in a state of embarrassed stupefaction. But behind this James Bondian exploit lay. . . the nine years Kaplan spent (innocently?) in Mexican lockups -- drinking, getting married (the ""relationship of convenience"" with Irma Vasquez Calderon grew into love), scheming futilely to escape. . . and questions, many questions. Who was behind his ""Kafkaesque"" trial (no jury, no court schedule, no cross-examination, unseen judges)? Why did Uncle Jack (tycoon J. M. Kaplan) seem anxious to keep him buffed in the hoosegow? And just how closely was Jack connected with the CIA? Was the man Joel supposedly killed really dead? How deeply was Joel himself involved in revolutionary-counterrevolutionary-countercounterrevolutionary U.S.-Cuban machinations? Hinckle and Turner, both ex-Rampartsers, sympathetically involved themselves in the case years ago, alert to the muckrake potential, and now that Kaplan is free (incognito) they tell the story as fully as it is known (with the ""cooperation"" of Kaplan but ""not the Gospel according to Joel Kaplan"") -- that is, many puzzlements remain. But if read as a nervy Mission-Impossible plot and nothing more, The 10-Second Jailbreak is a spinetingler.

Pub Date: May 10, 1973

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Holt, Rinehart & Winston

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1973