Monday, February 20, 2017

The Spike by Arnaud de Borchgrave and Robert Moss

(pb; 1980. First book in the Robert Hockney series.)

From the back cover

"From the jungles of Southeast Asia to the terrorist lairs of Hamburg and Rome, from high society orgies to the discovery of the Russian 'mole' who burrowed his way to he peaks of power in America, The Spike races through international political intrigue with shattering power. . . this. . . thriller unveils the KGB's sinister Directorate A and its 'disinformation' conspiracy -- a Red plot to turn the Western media into an unwitting Communist pawn in the Soviet drive for global supremacy.

"ROBERT HOCKNEY - He's a famous reporter who's covered all the big stories, but this news threatens to ignite the world.

"MICHEL RENARD - He's an ambitious French journalist whose politics -- and lust for money -- sweep him right into the claws of the KGB.

"TESSA TORRANCE - She's a movie star whose radical opinions drive her underground. . . to drugs, terrorism and a new guerrilla identity.

"ASTRID RENARD - She's a beautiful, voluptuous woman -- burning with desire for new clothes and kinky sex."


Spike is a racy, complex and exciting Cold War-era political thriller that spans decades, wars and the globe with multiple characters, whose politics and agendas provide the engine of the storyline.

The authors' writing is excellent for the most part, aside from last hundred pages. At this point, the pace slows and the tale wrap-up begins. It is also at this point that the story runs long and lacks the zing of the writing that precedes it.

I get that the authors are maintaining the realism of Spike by not rushing through the Washington-based proceedings but, given how well they managed the pace and realism of earlier events, it seems that they should have been able -- without much effort -- to match the excellence of the rest of the book.

Spike is still a superb and timely read, one worth owning. Followed by Monimbó.

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