AI! PEDRITO! by L. Ron Hubbard


When Intelligence Goes Wrong
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Before his self-glorification as the founder of Scientology, Hubbard was an inhumanly prolific pulp-fiction hack. This time, his original story is turned into a novel by Anderson (three X-Files novels, not reviewed here, and Ignition,1997, with Doug Beason). Hubbard insists that the tale is based on real incidents that sprang alive in his memory during the time he wrote Battlefield Earth (1982)--yet this somewhat comedic mistaken-identity novel also describes the shallow loyalities and convoluted worlds of American and Russian intelligence after the fall of the Soviet empire. When Russian and Cuban intelligence in Cuba notes that Lt. Tom Smith, of the USN Missile Security Section of the Office of Naval Intelligence, and Pedrito Miraflores, the notoriously mad but faithful Communist revolutionary leader, are exact doubles for each other, a plan is put into motion for switching their identities, with Tom Smith taking the fall for Pedrito’s misdeeds south of the border and Pedrito assuming Smith’s place in naval intelligence. Is this the greatest intelligence coup of the century? Well, not when—as the subtitle warns--intelligence goes wrong. The obligatory face-out scene comes when Smith and Miraflores are locked up together in a Cuban cell and one of them--the “real” Pedrito Miraflores--must be sent to Havana to be shot as a traitor. Dreadful preadolescent plotting in comic-strip prose.

Pub Date: June 26th, 1998
ISBN: 1-57318-121-8
Page count: 384pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 1998


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