The Irishman's Horse

Michael Collins, Author
Michael Collins, Author Dutton Books $18.95 (250p) ISBN 978-1-55611-185-3
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``Give an Irishman a horse and he'll vote Tory'' goes the old British maxim at the heart of Collins's latest mystery featuring one-armed PI Dan Fortune. Although the leftist leanings of some characters are reiterated relentlessly, the page-turning plot and its fittingly cynical ending make this one of the best Fortune stories yet. Fortune is hired by Esther Valenzuela, visiting her parents in Santa Barbara, Calif., first to find out who is tailing her and why, and then to trace her missing husband, a young diplomat in Guatemala who has recorded a conversation that will blow the lid off U.S. government involvement with a Colombian drug cartel. Rescued from a shootout by a mysterious figure called the Irishman, Fortune's investigations involve him in a clash between the CIA and the local police force, and lead him eventually into the Guatemalan jungle. As Fortune faces up to powerful, covert elements in the U.S. and comes to grips with the realization that power both corrupts and conquers, Collins ( Minnesota Strip ) delivers trenchant commentary along with high adventure. (Feb.)
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