CARIBE by J.R. Sprechman


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Fairly original, semi-mystical mix of detective novel and international thriller, hellbent through sentimentally slippery and pretentious twaddle. A shipment of arms to the Caribbean island republic Caribe has gone astray and special troops of President Barras have been cut to ribbons. Who is responsible? Sorge, the president's all-purpose specialist in black deeds? President Barras finds this hard to believe, and so does his 1,000-year-old dwarf Latour (who was ""condemned centuries ago with an unspeakable curse for an unknowable cause""). Find Sorge! CUT TO: Manhattan. In Greenwich Village, Sorge has reassumed his identity as Smithy, apparently a former Green Beret or some kind of jungle warfare expert. For four years Smithy has cared for beautiful Catherine Fleming, who is now a young actress playing Off-Off-Broadway in The Theban Woman. Smithy is an utterly emotionless shadow, who appears and disappears in Catherine's life, giving her enough big bucks to rent a Village apartment and to have the occasional abortion. Meanwhile, Cathy is spent herself, quite drained and sad until she meets Lieutenant Dempsey, a Manhattan police detective with a soft spot for waifs and the downtrodden. He spots heavy waif vibes in Cathy, pursues her, and they fall in love via the kind of stoical gush one once overheard between star-crossed Hemingway lovers. Then Catherine finds she is pregnant with Smithy's baby and can't tell Dempsey, and so off she goes to Mexico City and a new identity with Smithy, who's on the run from President Barras, but has meanwhile killed Dempsey's young sidekick Turner, So Dempsey has double reason to nail Smithy. . . Fast, fantastically linked plotting, perfectly harmonized to overblown characters. With a triple gin you might believe a page of it.

Pub Date: Jan. 13th, 1985
Publisher: Dutton