WRONG MAN by Armand V. Partipilo


Email this review


Offbeat and off the mark, Partipilo's first novel trips over its own glitter, and takes it upon itself to condemn both terrorism and the government agencies charged with combating it. Tony Reynolds leads a successful, comfortable life. His English partner Peter and his French partner Jacques are good friends, their ventures together lucrative, and Tony doesn't mind commuting to Europe from his country home in Wisconsin. The latest trip turns into a nightmare, however, as it becomes increasingly clear that someone wishes him ill. His hotel room is ransacked, his passport is stolen, then returned, and he's obviously under surveillance. The reason for this shabby treatment comes out when he's abducted and interrogated about ex-girlfriend Simone, whom he still loves but who is forever separated from him by the polar extremes of their ideologies: he hates terrorism, she doesn't. As it happens, she's developed her radical inclinations into something more sinister, with the Israelis now hot on her trail as the paymaster in a Palestinian terrorist network. Forced by drugs to tell all, Tony becomes a willing tool in the Israeli scheme to capture Simone, using him as bait. The trap is sprung, but a bloodbath ensues, which Tony manages to survive and Simone doesn't. Bearing a few psychological scars, he goes home and quickly falls in love with someone else. She's English nobility, but Lady Pamela and Tony end up happily in a Wisconsin snowdrift anyway. Bizarre isn't the word for the convolutions here, which strain credulity to the utmost. Scant characterization results in caricatures, and the story itself is thin. Real thriller-seekers would do well to look elsewhere.

Pub Date: April 23rd, 1990
Publisher: Strawberry Hill