SPLIT IMAGE by Michael French


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A teen-ager has decisions to make when he learns that his charismatic father, Clarence--a peripatetic aerospace engineer with strong opinions about politics and world peace--is a spy for North Korea. When his father claims that he works for a US intelligence agency, Garret is completely dazzled and agrees to help pass information. Later, after Garret learns the truth, he's distraught; but the secrecy, subterfuges, and sneaking into labs at night for information work on him like a drug--friends and college plans fade into the background once he discovers how easy it is, how powerful it makes him feel. Clarence is a convincingly drawn idealist, his forceful arguments logical, persuasive, and, seemingly, sincere, while Garret does plenty of soul-searching. It's a former colleague's tip that Clarence is well paid that finally sends Garret to the FBI; in a Final confrontation, he disowns his father as a hypocrite. The character studies are of most interest here: both father and son are given complex sets of values and motives. Readers won't find much suspense or action, but they will find food for thought about the varieties of loyalty.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1990
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Bantam