Noel Hynd Zig Zag

ISBN 13: 9780821734858

Zig Zag

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9780821734858: Zig Zag
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Tall and handsome, right-wing demagogue Senator John Lord seems to be luring voters with his campaign aimed at the middle class, and it is up to investigative reporter Paul Townsend to uncover Lord's dark secrets.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

Hynd, often criticized for the complexity and murkiness of his thrillers (Flowers From Berlin, The Sandler Inquiry, etc.), here tells a reasonably straightforward tale of political intrigue that ties the 1996 presidential election to a mysterious betrayal years earlier. Paul Townsend is a former investigative reporter reduced to writing obituaries for a New York tabloid. A new girlfriend tells him that her dying father is former Foreign Service diplomat Leonard Wolik and that he wants to tell his story. Wolik recounts his assignment in the Paris Embassy in 1965, working with the acting US ambassador--a friend of the President known to one and all as ``Lyndon's man''--to arrange the defection of a high-ranking KBG official. Everything went wrong and the ambassador was summarily recalled, Wolik tells Townsend. Having later used the story in the man's obituary and then discovered that he wasn't Wolik at all, Townsend is driven to investigate the story. Someone, most likely the CIA, is out to stop him at all costs, including murder. But why? Two former small-town police officers hold part of the answer, although Townsend has a long and dangerous trail to follow before he even learns of their existence. The story unfolds against the fascinating backdrop of the political campaign, in which a David Duke-like Texas Senator seems likely to win, running as an independent against two very recognizable candidates in the major parties. Overly long and sometimes awkwardly written, then resolved with an ending that's just a little too pat, but still a page- turner of the first order. Few will willingly leave these pages before they learn ``the greatest secret of the 1960's.'' -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

In Hynd's ( Revenge ) improbable but engaging scenario, a reporter threatens to release information deeply embarrassing to the CIA, and the result is a farrago of dirty tricks and murders. The hook that anchors the plot is a riddle that's put to tabloid obituary writer Paul Townsend by Leonard Wolik, a dying State Department official: what was the greatest conspiracy of the 1960s? Despite an attempt on his life, Townsend relates Wolik's allegations that an acting U.S. ambassador to France had been dismissed after trying to effect the defection of a KGB agent with the key to that secret. A pair of FBI agents turn up to request Townsend's notes on his conversation with Wolik, and a CIA official, Bruce McMorris, warns that any further inquiries would endanger U.S. relations with the Soviet Republic. Furthermore, McMorris reveals that Townsend had been talking to an impostor: the real Wolik had died years before. And it seems that the FBI agents were impostors, too. As Townsend tackles these questions, an assassin is busy eliminating the folks who might help answer them. The disappointing, mechanical resolution delivers a surprise that does not justify the lengthy buildup.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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