Fans of ""Hunt's answer to James Bond,"" the rogue DEA agent Jack Novak, might find some pleasure in seeing how the whole shooting match started: this seventh book in the series is billed as a ""prequel,"" predating the first Novak adventure (Cozumel) by five years. But readers who have managed to stay out of the former Watergate burglar's recent fictional loop might well be baffled by the violent, sexist and xenophobic tone of the enterprise. In the course of bringing down a couple of high-ranking Mexican drug lords and rescuing a fellow DEA agent from a Mazatlan jail, Novak kills dozens of people with only a bit of pro forma bitching from his bureaucratic bosses. His behavior is apparently excused because a Mexican drug cartel has just tortured and murdered DEA agent Kiki Camarena, so anything goes. This might even reflect actual internal agency policies of the period, but it comes across here as less than convincing--especially when Novak is allowed to spend vast amounts of confiscated cash on a luxuriant lifestyle, and to have frequent inappropriate sex (including the porno favorite of mother and daughter) on land, sea and in the air (twice). And Mexico-resident Novak's rough caricatures of Mexicans--even the peasants and priests he apparently approves of--add to the book's discomfort level. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/03/2000 Release date: 01/01/2000 Genre: Fiction
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