The Tides of Sligo

L. G. Shreve, Author St. Martin's Press $0 (393p) ISBN 978-0-312-02655-4
Notwithstanding its abundance of twisty spycraft, this first novel, produced, the publisher claims, ``by a former senior officer of the CIA who knows what he's writing about,'' has plenty of problems. In 1979, 60-ish American author Mark Raven whips up bestselling spy thrillers while ensconced in manorial Raven Park, County Sligo, Ireland. He ends his support of the IRA after Mountbatten's assassination, when he falls in love with Deirdre O'Brien, an Irishwoman campaigning against violence. The Provos, meanwhile, need more money for sophisticated weapons. Aware of their scheme, the Israelis and British plan to hijack the money from a Swiss bank and the arms from Libya, and they suborn Raven into a final donation to allay IRA suspicions. The progress of the two heists is unfortunately enmeshed with Mark and Deirdre's affair, poorly portrayed, and ``Hobson's choice either way.'' The climax is melodramatic, the ending syrupy and the chronology confusing. The large cast of cartoon characters, including Mrs. Thatcher and Col. Qaddafi, is headed by a singularly dim Raven. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
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