HOUR OF THE ARGENTINE by Bob Langley

HOUR OF THE ARGENTINE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Langley's usually fine-tuned sense of pace and drama fails him in this creaky, clichÉ-ridden melodrama (his fourth, and second to be published this year) about the hunt for an international terrorist. Psychopathic Argentine Martin Segunda (who first appeared in Falklands Gambit, 1985), also known as The Gaucho, is a ""terrorist superstar"" wanted by the good guys all over the world, especially British Intelligence agent Louisa Carleton, whose husband was murdered by Segunda some years before. Posing as a sexy English teacher, Louisa tracks him down in Paris and seduces him, ready to slip a stiletto into his back during a moment of passion. Only problem is, she falls for the brooding pampas cowboy, and follows him to the wastes of the Libyan desert for a networking conference of international terrorists. Also crowding up the sands is former Green Beret Major Emmett Hatch, out there with a trained group of ""corrupt, vicious, amoral and depraved"" mercenaries (including an Israeli assassin who makes Segunda look like Walter Mitty). He's been recruited by the Brits and the Yanks and the Israelis to make sure not one terrorist gets out alive. But all of this is just a decoy--the real terrorists are giggling madly to themselves and exchanging telephone numbers on a ship off the coast of North Africa. Louisa manages to break the soulful Segunda's hold over her (and even leaves him dying in the desert) to join Hatch and actually lead a helicopter assault on the terrorist ship. Muddy going--knee-deep in hackneyed dialogue (""There's only one man for a job like this"") and standard tradecraft.

Pub Date: Sept. 30th, 1987
Publisher: Walker