The Confession of Joe Cullen

Howard Fast, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $18.95 (282p) ISBN 978-0-395-50936-4
The prolific novelist ( The Pledge ) weighs in with his 46th book, a crime thriller-cum-political allegory. Mel Freedman, Jewish police lieutenant in a largely Catholic/black New York City precinct house, and his Puerto Rican sidekick, Ramos, stumble onto what looks like a Washington-run cocaine-smuggling operation in Central America. Their tip-off is Joe Cullen--Vietnam vet, pilot-for-hire and guilt-ridden Catholic--who saw a priest thrown out of a helicopter in Honduras. After more murders, Cullen flees the N.Y.C. police, who want him as a suspect; he's also evading the drug cabal which may include an army colonel who resembles Oliver North and a multimillionaire WASP society figure. This tough-guy tale has a soft heart: Freedman dates his ex-wife; a pretty assistant D.A. falls head-over-heels for fugitive Cullen. Although the characters at times resemble props in a morality play and the plot is schematic, Fast's grimly chilling fa ble delivers a resounding message about the decline of America's values, its corrupt leaders and the duplicity of a U.S. government that, clandestinely or openly, supports death squads and dictators in Latin America. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/01/1989
Release date: 08/01/1989
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-440-20669-9
Hardcover - 369 pages - 978-0-8161-4954-4
Hardcover - 978-0-517-07943-0
Ebook - 284 pages - 978-1-4532-3766-3
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