The Last Cold-War Cowboy

James Park Sloan, Author William Morrow & Company $16.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-688-06896-7
Southeast Asian studies professor Keith McCallum is hired as a consultant by a Texas mogul trying to swing an Indonesian oil deal. In Jakarta, McCallum is kidnapped and given a copy of the ""confession'' of an Indonesian double agent. Suddenly the professor is in apparent danger, pursued by various heavies. But who are they: CIA? FBI? KGB? McCallum's 15-year-old paper on the 1965 Indonesian coup figures in the plot, and it seems that almost everyone he talks to ends up dead of a ``heart attack.'' Readers will enjoy the story's sophisticated accoutrements: a frenetic pace, fine Indonesian color, McCallum's wryly amusing persona and a couple of twists at the end. But since narrator McCallum doesn't participate in the main CIA plot (winkling a renegade, arms-dealing ex-agent out of Libya), his story may seem a bit peripheral. In addition, most of the action occurs offstage or years ago, and the ambiguous endingwhich leaves unclear the identity of the title characteris something of a letdown. Sloan also wrote War Games and The Case History of Comrade V. (May 18)
Reviewed on: 05/01/1987
Release date: 05/01/1987
Genre: Fiction
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