The Last White Man in Panama

William Gough, Author Viking Books $16.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-670-81659-0
Red Hunter is a small-time con man amiably plying his trade in the casinos and seedy backstreets of Panama City. He shares his rakish life and modest flat with an ocelot, a cockatoo and his girlfriend Azucar, one of the luminaries of the Panamanian demimonde. Everything is laid back in this low-rent paradise until the day Red comes home to find Azucar brutally murdered. Vowing revenge, he sets out in search of the two men who appear to be the killers. Following the suspects to Bermuda, Red is joined in his mission of vengeance by Jack Williams, a grizzled mercenary who, unbeknownst to Red, is the father who abandoned him as a young boy, after passing on his wanderlust genes. They are soon joined by a third musketeer: Karen Chapman, a journalist who bails out of a marriage and a high-paying job in Boston to land helter-skelter in Bermuda with an itch for adventure. Eventually, the trail leads the three to the shadowy and powerful figure of Timothy Shepherd, a media mogul ruling over an evangelical TV empire. While he presciently mixes two timely and intriguing themesPanama as a seedbed of corruption and the sexual indiscretions of powerful TV evangelistsCanadian TV producer Gough hardly does justice to the promise of this material. Using broad, almost cartoonish strokes, he aims for an atmosphere of careening high adventure, but his lackluster prose and improbable plot keep the narrative resolutely earthbound. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/25/1988
Release date: 05/01/1988
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-14-010023-5
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