COZUMEL by E. Howard Hunt

COZUMEL

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This time out, Hunt departs from his usual espionage fare (The Kremlin Conspiracy, The Hargrave Deception, etc.) with the inelegant but action-packed story of a rogue DEA agent--the first in a proposed series."" I drained the brown bottle and added it to the other empties on the table. Another day in the life of an undercover drug agent, I was thinking, when I saw the blonde come in."" In truth, they don't write 'em like this anymore. The narrator is Jack Novak, a DEA agent under deep cover as a fishing guide on the island of Cozumel, Mexico. The blonde is Astrid Nordstrom, a nubile beauty accompanied by a crooked Miami lawyer named Paul Diehl. Their story? They want Novak to guide them to a sunken plane full of Mayan artifacts. Novak doesn't believe this for a minute (Diehl has cocaine written all over him) but goes along anyway, infatuated with Astrid. Sure enough, when they get to the wreck they're attacked by a helicopter full of machine-gunning Colombians, and Novak is--he thinks--the only survivor. He resigns from the DEA and begins a bloody, one-man search for Astrid's killers, finally discovering Diehl was just a pawn in a multimillion-dollar cocaine ring run jointly by a Houston banker, Vernon Saunders, and a vicious Colombian drug dealer, Luis Parra. To Novak's dismay, he finds that Astrid is alive--and the lover of Saunders. He forgives her for setting him up, but she's killed before he can save her, and in retaliation he dispatches both Saunders and Parra before retiring back to Cozumel to take solace in a 17-year-old would-be Olympic diver named Melody. The dialogue is often unintentionally high camp, the action melodramatic and quite violent (11 or 12 bloody deaths, including one by a man-eating shark), but there's fun in watching a solid professional like Hunt churn out a good, old-fashioned escapist adventure.

Pub Date: Nov. 19th, 1985
Publisher: Stein & Day