Another one of those spy stews that start out great, sag in the middle, and steam to a close with 30 pages of...

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THE TASKMASTER

Another one of those spy stews that start out great, sag in the middle, and steam to a close with 30 pages of headache-inducing explanations that turn good guys into bad guys, bad guys into good guys, and credibility into mud. Too bad, because the blast-off premise is promising: a vengeful Cuban survivor of the Bay of Pigs fiasco is methodically executing all the CIA types involved, and has-been agent Alec Gunther (a B-of-P expert) is reinstated, assigned to search and destroy. Alec's too late or too careless to save the next victims--retired agents in Santa Monica and Montana-and, by the time he's completed a circuitous detour to Argentina for counter-productive background research (that mid-book sag), CIA veterans are dropping dead all over the world. In Vermont for a shoot-out, the adversaries finally meet, and the wild goose chase receives its final goose--courtesy of Che Guevara and Alec's hitherto unseen ex-wife, who is part of the extraordinarily noble international nice-spy network that Alec has unknowingly sabotaged. King (Four Days, 1976) is again too tricky for his own good, which--without all the flip-flops--could turn out to be very good indeed.

Pub Date: Aug. 4, 1977

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1977