Hartman's Game

Richard Hubert Francis Cox, Author St. Martin's Press $18.95 (345p) ISBN 978-0-312-03275-3
Cox's ( Ground Zero ) ninth novel, a tale of international corporate intrigue with roots deep in World War II, starts slowly and doesn't acquire momentum until midway through. The plot lacks tension, since Sir James Hartman's secret plan to dramatically expand his business empire by taking over a competitor and becoming a major player in the world diamond market is not particularly interesting. Hartman, a German-born citizen who fled his native land to fight with the British during the war, later rose to financial prominence by virtue of mysterious--and often shady--dealings with the Third World. When Hartman's corporate jet crashes in Africa, his son, who flies there to aid in the search, soon begins uncovering his father's many secrets, particularly his ties to a certain old wartime companion from Italy and a mystery woman from his distant past. Cox writes with authority about Africa and its politics, and certain scenes (especially a tense meeting of the Board of the Hartman Trust as things are coming to a head) are marvelously drawn, but neither these assets nor the climactic revelation of Hartman's ulti mate secret are enough to salvage an essentially tedious tale. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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