Talley's Truth

Philip Ross, Author St. Martin's Press $0 (0p) ISBN 978-0-312-93015-8
This sequel to Hovey's Deception is more contrived than clever. Two years after rescuing Lawrence Hovey from Czechoslovakia for the CIA, Tom Talley is lured back into the field by agent McCluskie. The CIA is trying to find out, McCluskie says, if a red mole in the Agency compromised the earlier mission. Talley is persuaded to go to Vienna ""just to talk'' with a Communist opera director. Although Talley is assured that the job isn't dangerous, it is: he and McCluskie are almost killed, and Talley is convinced to sneak into Czechoslovakia. He's captured by master spy Colonel Suk, and various deals, counterdeals and double-crosses galore are hatched as plotters and opportunists on both sides try to gain the upper hand. Ross occasionally writes an effective, cinematic scene, but much of the book concerns the strained relationship between Talley and his lover Jane, both of whom act less than their 40-ish ages and seem surprisingly credulous of McCluskie and Suk. Only diehard fans of the genre will be drawn to this routine thriller. (June 15)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
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