cover image The Madmen of Benghazi

The Madmen of Benghazi

Gérard de Villiers, trans. from the French by William Rodarmor. Vintage Crime/Black Lizard, $14.95 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-0-8041-6931-8

De Villiers (1929–2013), the author of about a hundred spy novels featuring Austrian nobleman and freelance CIA agent Malko Linge, makes his U.S. debut with this entertaining entry first published in France in 2011. Malko goes to Cairo to find out who is trying to kill Ibrahim al-Senussi, the grandson of Libya’s King Idris, whom Muammar Qaddafi overthrew in 1967. Now that Qaddafi has been deposed, al-Senussi is the prospective head of the new Libyan government. Malko accepts his mission with gusto, as it involves seducing Cynthia Mulligan, a London model and al-Senussi’s mistress, to gain information. Malko soon gets on the track of a ruthless Islamist, Abu Bukatella, who doesn’t want a modern monarch backed by the West to rule Libya. The book is short, blazingly fast, and full of explicit sex. Readers may wonder why American publishers waited so long to bring the series to this country. (Aug.)