Saturday, September 22, 2018

22. Ransom for a God by Tony Foster

This was a fortunate find from the weird blanket booksale on Bernard where I found the previous read, Chip Harrison Scores Again.  I have never heard of Tony Foster and though written in 1990, Ransom for a God is a solid adventure novel right out of the classics of the 70s.  It does take place in 1976, so perhaps it was actually written back then.  I am not sure but Foster is worth a read if this book is any indication.

It is a somewhat convoluted story with several characters and their own storylines.  It starts as high espionage with a plot to discredit the Chinese and sow conflict with their Russian allies by stealing a giant solid gold statue of the Buddha from a temple in Bangkok.  Most of the book though, gets down to ground level, following ex-con and Vietnam veteran pilot Mike Carson who is slumming in Bangkok, drinking away his PTSD.  He ends up getting the job of actually flying the statue out after the heist.  There are corrupt Thai officials, subtle Chinese spies, incompetent DEA agents, decadent American bureaucrats, diplomats, politicians and military officers.  As you can see by that last group, this book has a decidedly anti-American spin, very much in the post-Vietnam sentiment.  

As I say, it's a bit convoluted, perhaps even slightly preposterous at times, but it is a lot of fun, the characters are interesting and the action quite well done, never overblown.  Really a solid adventure find.

Ah I see, Tony Foster is Canadian!  Nice, added bonus.  I'll have to check his stuff out some more.

I think this is him, though the writer of this laudatory obit did not do his research on Foster's books.

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