The Emperor and the Spy

Stan S. Katz. Horizon Productions, $19.95 trade paper (540p) ISBN 978-0-9903349-6-5
Katz’s promising debut, a fictional account of real-life American spy Sidney Mashbir, is hobbled by an overwhelming number of editing errors and patches of weak prose. After helping the U.S. settle the conflict with Pancho Villa in 1916, Mashbir takes assignments that send him to New York, to Japan in the interwar years (where he befriends high-level officials, including Emperor Hirohito), and to Australia during WWII to help the war efforts in Southeast Asia. Mashbir is portrayed here as a talented mediator for peace who moves in impressive circles; Charles Lindbergh, generals Pershing and MacArthur, Charlie Chaplin, and F.D.R. all appear. The characterizations of these historical figures are wonderfully conceptualized, though their dialogue can come across as awkward (“Shucks, it’s gotten me into a heap of trouble in the past”). Editing problems also proliferate, ranging from typos and formatting inconsistencies to a regrettable overuse of italics and ellipses. Readers who can overlook those flaws will be rewarded with an enthusiastic take on the life of a little-known but influential personality in American history. (BookLife)
Reviewed on: 01/01/2018
Release date: 00/00/0000
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