Eyes of God
This political thriller labors under its own weighty atmosphere and is tripped up by the author's heavy-handed style, although the web of intrigue at the book's center is well constructed. When an ex-pat oil executive in Indonesia commits suspicious suicide, his protégé, Harry Griffin, is thrown into a dangerous mire when he questions the official story. Soon a fugitive, Harry flirts with insanity and endures delusional bouts as he struggles to piece the story together. Corrupt government officials, greedy foreign businesses, and crooked diplomats make the situation all the more fraught. Meanwhile, Indonesia in 1998 is in turmoil—rioting and a financial crisis eventually result in the ousting of Suharto. Babcock's novel—which features a mysterious narrator prone to long tangents—is bloated with awkward, vaguely artful prose. Readers' interest may flag.