The Lion and the Jackal

W. T. Tyler, Author Simon & Schuster $19.45 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-64003-3
Fresh from home leave in the States, disaffected political officer Logan Talbot finds the American Embassy in East African Jubbaland stewing in the same enervating heat and stifling expatriate gossip he left behind. The homestretch before his eagerly awaited reassignment to Paris seems interminable to Talbot, and his cavalier attitude incurs the wrath of the joyless new deputy chief of the mission, who has taken it upon himself to clean house in a brisk, abrasive manner totally unlike that of gently ineffectual Ambassador Harcourt. In the midst of this domestic strife, the blood feud between the Jubbas and neighboring Ethiopia threatens to flare up into full-scale conflict, pitting the U.S. and the Soviets against one another as each scrambles for the right to arm and advise favored players. An ex-foreign service officer himself, Tyler (The Shadow Cabinet) has been compared to Graham Greene and John le Carre, but as his latest novel wades slowly into the morass of U.S. foreign policy, it shows little depth, settling instead for a rather dull, pedantic picture of petty sniping and incompetence in the diplomatic circle. (March)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1988
Release date: 03/01/1988
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