The cold war is hot, and in Washington, all attention is focused on the race to put the first satellite in space. Blackford Oakes is put in charge of a plot to kidnap a pair of Russian scientists who can put the U.S. in the lead.
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The third of Buckley's 12 Blackford Oakes novels has the spy dealing with Russian friends, combating anti-U.S. forces, and trying to maintain the semblance of a love life--just as the era of the satellite is about to develop in the 1950s. When hostage-taking mucks up the routine of day-to-day spying, Oakes handles it with aplomb. Geoffrey Blaisdell gives an effective performance of this Cold War saga. His characterizations, in particular, are strong. From Oakes's steady, controlled voice to the voices of desperate Russians in a prison camp, a Hungarian woman, a U.S. ship's captain, and, especially, a rambling American scientist--Blaisdell's performance is fully credible. The narration sets a good pace for the listener to follow the espionage exploits of "Blackie"--and all of his assorted pseudonyms. M.B. © AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine
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