Mambo

Campbell Armstrong, Author
Campbell Armstrong, Author HarperCollins Publishers $18.95 (438p) ISBN 978-0-06-016285-6
Reviewed on: 03/01/1990
Release date: 03/01/1990
Completing a trilogy begun with Jig and Mazurka , Armstrong presents a conspiracy against an aging, isolated Fidel Castro. Exiles and resisters dream of a free, democratic Cuba, while a secret cartel of businessmen plans for an island once more made safe for capitalism. At the heart of the plot are Rafael Rosabal, a Fidelista cabinet minister with his own private agenda; Gunther Ruhr, ``The Claw,'' a ruthless German terrorist-for-hire; and Scotland Yard's Frank Pagan, who confronts, unravels and foils the scheme. Armstrong (the pseudonym of Campbell Black) has written a fast-moving page-turner whose episodes are more satisfying than the whole. Implausibilities abound, including Pagan's metamorphosis from policeman to secret agent, and the conspirators' elaborate hijacking of a U.S. cruise missile. An extended subplot involving The Claw's graphic sexual abuse of a young girl seems gratuitious. A work that delivers less than it promises. $80,000 ad/promo; author tour. (Apr.)
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