ONCE A SPY by Robert Footman

ONCE A SPY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Retired CIA agent is called back to duty in middle age with bloody consequences--in a nicely styled reworking of that overused scenario. A WW II hero in the Philippines and postwar CIA hot-spot specialist, Harry Ryder retired when he found himself in strange, dangerous situations--situations probably engineered by dapper lecher Junius Oakland, a CIA boss whose ugly secrets Harry knows. So when the Agency makes overtures to get Harry back to the Philippines for a new job, he's reluctant--especially since his long-suffering wife (a big wedding-reception manager) starts suing him for divorce. But Harry does accept the high-pay one-shot job: he lays down strictures giving him a free hand, sets about his supposed mission (planning the escape of two leading political prisoners from an infamous fascist jail), and hires Terry Jefferson, a Charlie's-Angel type, who pilots small planes but is also a knockout high-priced prostitute. (She reminds him of the tragic Teresa, his murdered Filipina mistress.) However, the whole scheme, of course, is a CIA setup involving evil Junius--who gets his, but not before Harry and Terry successfully manage the impossible jailbreak (though Terry is killed while resisting rape by Junius). Recycled CIA convolutions--but Harry's taste and keenness make him an attractive hero, and Footman's travelogue affair with the islands provides more exotic, easy-reading padding than usual in the genre.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1980
Publisher: Dodd, Mead