MAZATLAN by E. Howard Hunt


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 Another awesomely un-politically correct thriller from Hunt (Chinese Red, 1992, etc.), this kicking off a new series narrated by an ex-DEA agent who knows his way around guns, booze, and boats- -and who will slap a ``bitch'' around if she gets out of line. Fortunately, Hunt writes a clean line so the retro wish- fulfillment blends smoothly into the hard action, though the manly fantasies start early on, as we learn that 40-ish Jack Novak is living with lovely Melody, a college student who at Jack's first glance looked ``all of sixteen years old.'' And then there's Melody's luscious pal Tara Vaill (she of the ``shapely loins''), who asks Jack to find her dad, a shady preacher who's disappeared offshore Mexico while sailing with his assistant, one Sister Grace. Jack heads to Mazatl†n, the boat's last port-of-call--and there spots Grace, who's traded in her chaste robes for a string bikini, the better to show off her ``spectacular body.'' Before Jack can figure out how to play her, and where the preacher is, he learns from an old DEA buddy that Grace is actually Yolanda Parra, prominent member of Colombia's chief cocaine-dealing family. To meet her, Jack sabotages her beau's car and whisks her away--and, within minutes, whisks her clothes away as well. Taken with bold Jack, Yolanda offers him a job with her cartel; meanwhile, the DEA offers him a quarter million to take down the Parras. With maximum explosives and flashing blades, cutting a destructive path through both the Mexican and Colombian jungles, Jack does his patriotic duty, freeing preacher Vaill (whom Yolanda was using to ferry drugs) along the way--but, at last, letting the seductive dealer (she of the ``soft breasts and warm lips'') go free: ``Who knows- -our paths might cross again.'' No doubt they will, since Hunt gives his readership the sort of leathery fare they presumably want: For would-be tough guys only, though.

Pub Date: Dec. 10th, 1993
ISBN: 1-55611-369-2
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Donald Fine
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 1993


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