Cuban Bluff

Nigel West, Author, Jim Wade, Editor Crown Publishers $20 (0p) ISBN 978-0-517-58538-2
Despite its flat characterizations and lack of suspense, this fictionalized look at the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis may appeal to espionage, history and assassination-conspiracy buffs. West, author of 10 nonfiction books on the intelligence services as well as a novel ( The Blue List ), begins with the defection in December 1961 of a high-ranking KGB officer. Short, continent-hopping episodes lead to the final October confrontation and resolution. Although most of the characters are based on real-life people, they are so poorly individualized that readers will be hard pressed to remember who's who. Aside from a last-minute scramble to find a missing Soviet submarine, the author provides little narrative tension, though he does drop a baffling hint that Lee Harvey Oswald was connected to some of the events he describes. Another problem is a West's plodding, ponderous prose. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1991
Release date: 10/01/1991
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