Troubleshooter

Ronald Weber, Author St. Martin's Press $14.95 (199p) ISBN 978-0-312-01839-9
This fine espionage novel by the author of Company Spook is an intelligent examination of the personalities involved in covert operations, rather than a global frenzy of derring-do. It's a refreshing alternative to thrillers that dispense with humanity in favor of high-tech faceoffs. Robert Laski is a professor of English at Princeton. Learning that a colleague, Tommy Manders, has disappeared during his sabbatical in Portugal, he flies to Lisbon with Manders's wife, Margaret. But Margaret has deliberately left Laski in the dark on some crucial facts: she and her husband are both CIA recruits; her husband is serving his own purposes by acting as an art consultant to a former Communist leader; and a CIA troubleshooter is waiting in Portugal to make sure everything turns out right for the Company. Unfortunately, Weber unravels the novel's counterconspiracies a trifle too early and keeps the chat too polite as the inevitable confrontation draws near. But his prose is precise, yet lyrical, and he effectively depicts the beauty and history of Portugal as well as the subtleties of his character's behavior. He's also not afraid to suggest that those who carefully and dutifully prepare plans against other people, whether for country or for profit, are equally culpable for their lack of conscience. (August)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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