The Man Who Looked Like Howard Cosell

John Bartholomew Tucker, Author St. Martin's Press $16.95 (250p) ISBN 978-0-312-02248-8
A muddled plot and shallow characterizations trip up Tucker's lighthearted handling of the spy-thriller genre. Harry Baker, an agent for many of TV's top news journalists, is sharing a drink with his attractive friend Alice when a man who looks like, but isn't, Howard Cosell leads him to the side of a dying Frenchman. After the Frenchman expires while speaking nonsense in an American accent, a man in a dark suit deprives Baker of a mysterious franc-filled envelope. Then he and Alice provoke a police arrest to escape two phony FBI agents, and further mayhem follows. Baker's old army buddy Wendell Crittenden, now a member of a rogue secret intelligence group, involves him in a spy caper that includes trips to Washington and London, and a 66 Chinese double agent who tries sexual provocation. It all adds up to confusion for Baker and the reader. The weak denouement disappoints, leaving Baker's bewildered charm and the playful tone of the novel unfulfilled. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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