Red Doll

Juan Luis Cebrian, Author, Philip W. Silver, Translator Grove/Atlantic $15.95 (162p) ISBN 978-1-55584-145-4
Juan Altamirano, the protagonist in this love story masquerading as a spy caper, is a hero of the revolution that toppled the remnants of Franco's regime after the Spanish dictator died. On a mission to Paris, the middle-aged ex-revolutionary falls for a red-haired left-wing beauty in her 20s (the ""red doll'' of the title), who may or may not be an agent of Russia's KGB, as Juan's masters in the government believe she is. The government orders Juan to undertake a second mission to negotiate a potential surrender agreement with an emissary of ETA, the Basque separatist movement that has for years waged a campaign of terror in Spain and France. Before the negotiations can be completed, however, the Basque representative is killed, and Juan is left with the uncomfortable suspicion that his own government is responsible. His obsessive quest to solve the murder parallels his equally obsessive love affair. This impressive first novel by the director of El Pais, Spain's largest newspaper, has a Graham Greene-like resonance. The light the book throws on the complexities of political life in modern Spain should be edifying to readers here. (November 23)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1987
Release date: 10/01/1987
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