TRIANGLE OF DEATH by Michael Levine


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 Action, adventure, karate kicks, and just about every spy thriller clichÇ possible in a federal drug-buster's roman Ö clef debut fiction. Casting himself as the hero of his own novel, former DEA undercover agent Levine (called ``Lee-veen-ay'' by one of his thickly accented comrades) gives his all to avenge the torture murder of one Rene Villarino, his best friend and fellow agent. Along the way, he spends a fortune in airline tickets, jetting briskly around the world as he beguiles Manhattan mafiosi, inscrutable Israeli spies, scheming Nazis, and unctuous Arab bad guys along the path to the Paraguayan headquarters of Nadia Ricoard, a lethal female crime boss and the manufacturer of White Queen, a superpowerful cocaine that variously stimulates sexual orgasm, transforms its victims into murderous fiends, or kills them outright. Readers of Levine's memoirs (Deep Cover, 1990; The Big White Lie, 1993) will recognize some thinly fictionalized scenes and grow weary of his tendency to portray those who question his reckless, high-spending methods as paranoid, backbiting incompetents. When he isn't dodging bullets with his hotheaded, street-savvy former partner Tito Garza, or romancing a sexy Mossad spy, Levine's globe-hopping brings out a nail-biting xenophobia: Everywhere he goes he uncovers sleaze, foul odors, and criminal types who eagerly betray God and country for a few hundred million dollars. The story becomes almost comically preposterous as Levine breezily becomes a high-rolling Arab drug dealer, wins effortlessly at blackjack, fends off numerous femmes fatales, and survives a deadly plunge down a waterfall. And all of this, Levine insists, is presented as fiction only because his former bosses won't let him tell the whole truth. A bull's-eye for Rogue Warrior fans but not nearly as interesting, or entertaining, as Levine's nonfiction. (Author tour)

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-385-31475-2
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 1996