WHITE POPPY by Helena Osborne


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Focus: The Afghani Connection--on the Iranian border, policed by Americanized Major Cyrus Natanzi. The sleek major's latest recruit in the war against opium smuggling is tourist-photographer Sara Norton, whose erstwhile lover David tried to slip across the border with mucho grass, got arrested, and will serve 3--5 years unless reluctant Sara (""It's a real pig activity"") picks up tips--real ones or planted decoys--on when and where the next shipment will be crossing. Sara's good-faith efforts tangle her up with American space-outs, oafish British diplomats (their search-immune van will be carrying the poppies), and the ruthless Afghani tribesmen who grow the stuff, while author Osborne elaborately fills in the other corrupt stages in the flower-to-power process. Persian jokes (yes, there is one) and budding romance twixt Sara and her quaint Major (""My heart will be narrow for you, my honey"") dot the extended scenic path taken in this minor league MacInnes--placidly professional with no untoward outbursts of sex or violence.

Pub Date: June 14th, 1977
Publisher: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan