THE GREEK POSITION by Robert Roderick


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Too long by half and lacking a hero to focus on, this involved tale of how an international crew of monied freebooters cashes in on the Six-Day War does have a certain conspiracy-theory appeal throughout. The idea? To invest $100 million in filled oil tankers that will be worth their weight in gold once the mid-1967 conflict closes the Suez Canal, forcing Mideast oil to be routed around Africa. The group, which (tacitly supported by Israel) sets up shop some 18 months before the war, includes: an American Indian who runs a very private bank for his Jewish father-in-law; a Swiss money man; a genially homicidal gourmand of Welsh extraction who made a fortune in Canadian mining after commando service during the Palestine Mandate; a White Russian countess; and two semi-retired mobsters--lsaac (""I never bet on a war before"") Cohen and his strongarm partner in crime, Spedante Immediato. Doing business as Lianides Bulk Transport (LBT) through a front man, these folks use laundered money and commission a Japanese shipyard on the Inland Sea to build ten tankers. But meanwhile, Loren Wade, maritime superintendent of an independent petroleum company called PANARTEX, stumbles onto the plot; he lures Demi Keriosotis, ne'er-do-well scion of a Greek shipping clan, into a dummy deal to smoke out the schemers. And then, in turn, Demi (with his new mistress) pieces together the details of the caper and tries his own power play. . . while Wade happily teams up (sort of) with the original scammers. Eventually, then, everyone but Demi and mistress Fiona--who are gunned down while celebrating with hot-tub sex--gets away with billions. Amiably amoral, hardly credible, and too hodgepodge-y for general suspense readers--but those turned on by up-scale scares may hang in there through the many longueurs.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1980
Publisher: Wyndham/Simon & Schuster