A FREE AGENT by Frederic Wakeman


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Mark Marklay, always nagged by his own anonymity (he was adopted), returns from a war escape in New Guinea to his father's deathbed where he secures the answer to his until then problematical physical identity. Eighteen years later, travelling on ""company"" business- the euphemism for a security job, Mark is for the first time aware of a question larger than his own point of origin and his national allegiance: he begins to ask ""who are we"" rather than ""who am I"". In Athens he falls in love with Zoe and marries her in England, only to learn later that she has a dossier as a Communist. He loses faith not only in Zoe, but also in the practical politics of the cold war he is helping to fight (feeding guns in Africa to natives whom the Russians are already masterminding). And he returns to confront Zoe with her betrayal only to face the fallacy of trying to ""weigh everything and everybody on made-in-America scales"" ... Except for some admittedly ""childish"" sex play which will encourage some readers to beat a hasty retreat, this offers a story and characters with more purpose than Wakeman's recent books and it has a certain blunt readability.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster