HIGH HAZARD by Richard Martin Stern


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The fictional Republic of Carib, with its endemic tensions and racial touchiness, (black and white distinctions often mistakenly come out Red), provides a composite but not complex view of any small country to the south. Along with a few representatives of the Carib elite, the natives, etc., a number of people share the white man's burden and blame in the few days before a local uprising- long time residents, shorter term representatives of the State Department, tourists. Vodun (voodoo) is very much alive and unaccountable wangas (spells) are practised; the Ambassador is poisoned and burried out of the country; a native girl dies and neither a priest nor a doctor can explain or exercise the malignant power which takes her life; the young wife of a Carib Army Major who hates all whites runs off with a ""blanc-yo""; and finally, as presaged by the drums, there is the small insurrection on an explosive Fourth of July.... A readymix combines popular ingredients- romance, action- along with its political soundings and it is acceptable entertainment. But the large cast of characters and alternating sequences still disprove the safety in numbers- when the reader's involvement is limited to only a nodding acquaintance with each.

Publisher: Scribner