FRUIT OF THE POPPY by Robert Wilder


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Wilder has given up the exotic background of the Bahamas (Wind from the Carolinas) and now tough, with the faint stain of a smile, takes on the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. The four-ply plot reveals the activities of U. S. narcotics agents, Mexican agents, the Cosa Nostra crime syndicate, and of two fugitives from the syndicate. The novel is written in an explanatory, march-of-crime style, heavy as a lead badge....Crime accountant Harvey Mitchell steals $250,000 from the Chicago branch of Cosa Nostra. The syndicate sends a hired killer after him to sing him his last vespers. Meanwhile the syndicate kingpin's mistress goes out after Harvey too, blackmail bent. After a skirmish aboard the Super Chief, Harvey escapes to Mexico where he sets up a smuggling ring. An opposing smuggling ring is organized by the U.S. and Mexican feds. The novel's best passages deal with undercover agents who have been so long at the game that they have become as morally blunted as the criminals they seek to lock up, and Tiajuana and Chihuahua furnish local color....A novel which seems to be half melodrama, half documentary, and perhaps a surprise for his established readership.

Pub Date: April 26th, 1965
Publisher: Putnam