TRAFICANTE by Frank Hilaire


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Agonizingly inflated and tortured sentimental melodrama--about a pair of pot-and-coke-smuggling brothers flying between dealers in Mexico and the States. We first meet smuggler Sar buying an out-of-commission B-25 for rebuilding, hoping to make the big retirement-or-bust haul of his career. And then, in flashback, we follow his long sibling rivalry with younger brother Rigg; his learning to fly a Beechcraft; his love affair with future wife Kelly; the brothers' early days in the marijuana traffic and dealings with the federales and the American feds; the big rift between the brothers caused by Rigg's desire to move into heroin after coke proves non-lucrative; Sar's coke habit that erodes his septum and forces him to stay in the trade; and Sar's later discovery that Rigg has lost an arm and is working in his own bakery. So back to the present: Sar's last big smuggle to Mexico in the B-25. . . but the Mexican Air Force attacks him in mid-air. Marginal appeal for aviation-action fans, but mostly this features the overwrought prose and pseudo-tragic strain of Hilaire's Thanatos (1971) without the prison-life authenticity that gave that earlier novel some grounding.

Pub Date: June 13th, 1980
Publisher: St. Martin's