ORCHIDS FOR MOTHER by Aaron Latham

ORCHIDS FOR MOTHER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

CIA squabbles circa early-Watergate, as a gaggle of named, pseudonymed, and imaginary D.C. biggies feud, connive, and bollox up foreign affairs. ""Mother"" is disgruntled F. X. Kimball, fiercely pro-Israel, anti-Communist director of the counterintelligence division and loser in the latest battle for the top CIA spot. The winner, Ernest O'Hara, prodded by Henry the K, edges Mother further and further away from the Israel desk, so far that he can't warn his Tel-Aviv connection of the Yom Kippur attack. Mother will take vengeance--the Kissinger wiretapping leak just for a start--but not before Latham has piled on padding both fictional (the training of two Ivy League recruits, sexy Paul and sexy Frances, at the CIA's ""Blue U""; the suicide of the informer who fed M-60 tank plans to the KGB), and pseudo-Final Days (""The First Lady was lying in bed reading a biography of Rose Kennedy,"" Kissinger in rages, RMN burning tapes). Though Latham can write a nice, shiny page and fits Mother out with a Ginsberg-loving son (""How many people have you killed?""), there's not a fleck of human interest visible. So it's up to the government minutiae--CIA/OSS history, a festival of gee-whiz codes and catchwords from PICKLE and KUDESK to USIB, DIA, INR, and ONI--to fixate the Washington-watchers who don't mind having the real thing thoroughly debauched with pale blarney.

Pub Date: May 20th, 1977
Publisher: Little, Brown