THE ACOLYTE by David Compton


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 After bedding both blond and brunette spies, dodging bullets and trashing a brand-new BMW, a young Republican actually gets the President of the US to listen to him. Greer Whitaker, a 28-year-old political campaign manager who ``cried when Nixon died,'' loses his credibility and a chance at a Capitol Hill job when his Republican Congressional hopeful's campaign is revealed to be laundering drug money. Disgraced, disgusted, and still depressed over the lover who jilted him years ago in Germany, Greer applies for a job with the CIA. His fervent conservatism, unquestioning loyalty, and fluency in German make him an ``answered prayer'' to members of a supersecret CIA counterintelligence department eager to smoke out a mole mysteriously connected with the Stasi, the old Communist East German spy bureau. After two months of training, Greer is installed as an aide to National Security Adviser Randall Jenkins, the current President's best friend. Greer's job is to spy on Jenkins, whose protectionist biases threaten to upset an upcoming international trade agreement the President wants to sign. While combing top secret intelligence reports, Greer falls rapidly in love with Kate Mallotte, a leggy blond CIA analyst, and is then whisked off to Germany by Jenkins, who suspects that Germany and Japan might want to wage an economic war against America. Meantime, Greer's old girlfriend, Stephanie Becker, looks him up and, while they're making love, Jenkins is murdered. Stephanie, of course, has her own friends in the spy business, among them Erich Reagor, an old Stasi hand who would rather kill women than bed them. There are some nauseating executions and a final shoot-out in San Francisco that leaves everyone, including the President, dazed, bewildered, and ready to believe what Greer has learned about the evil intentions of the Germans and the Japanese. Good scenery and imaginative violence don't save this overplotted and underconvincing first thriller. (Film rights to Touchstone)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-684-80430-1
Page count: 400pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 1996