Bad Money

A. M. Kabal, Author Dutton Books $18.95 (312p) ISBN 978-0-525-24671-8
This thriller starts out pretty well but gets tangled up in the many threads spun to weave a conspiracy. In the prologue, four people are murdered in four different citiesRome, Panama City, London and Gdansk. The victim in Rome, Tom Wellbeck, is the ex-husband of London Examiner reporter Caro Kilkenny, who investigates his death while researching a book on governmental corruption. Caro's research assistant is former newspaper colleague John Standing, now a broken-down boozer whose career was destroyed when he tried to expose the nefarious dealings of infernally rich power broker David Medina. In a series of confusing events that tie the four murders together, Caro, John and cub reporter Alan are led down a trail that connects the Vatican Bank to Americans trading guns for cocaine in Central America, to civil unrest in Poland, to what eventually seems to be every major event in recent headlinesand then back to David Medina. The book's background color rings true, particularly in the London newsroom and at Sandown racetrack, but Kabal stumbles badly when he switches the action to this side of the Atlantic; his descriptions of American cities might have been gleaned from a highway map. (July)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1988
Release date: 09/01/1988
Paperback - 978-0-944276-61-7
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