cover image The Betrayal Game

The Betrayal Game

David L. Robbins, . . Bantam, $25 (365pp) ISBN 978-0-553-80442-3

In this muddled follow-up to 2006's engaging The Assassins Game , Robbins attempts to create suspense by revisiting the multiple attempts made on Fidel Castro's life in the early 1960s. Professor Mikhal Lammeck—an expert on political murder—arrives in Cuba on the eve of the much-rumored U.S.-supported invasion at the Bay of Pigs, but soon finds himself transformed from detached academic into participant. Thrust into this murky world of double-crossings and shadowy government missions, Lammeck becomes privy to a conspiracy involving a former U.S. marine sharpshooter. Robbins has set himself a daunting task in maintaining tension and interest when the reader knows Castro will survive. Unfortunately, the author doesn't manage to overcome the challenges he sets for himself, and his efforts to weave together fictional characters and historical events are heavy-handed at best. (Feb.)