Saturday, June 15, 2019

37. Flashpoint by Dan J. Marlowe

For some reason, with these American men's paperback crime books, I like the crime but not the espionage.  Partly because morally they assume that the CIA and FBI are basically good guys as these were intended for a mostly conservative white male audience.  They also just feel a bit contrived.  With the straight crime, the morality is pushed to one side and you stay within the realm of reality, more or less.  Flashpoint is a mix of both and I thus only halfly enjoyed it.  Dan J. Marlowe often walks this line and I definitely prefer him on the crime side.

For convoluted reasons of having to deliver money to somebody, Drake ends up on a private plane full of high-rollers on their way to Vegas.  It gets hijacked and brought down in the desert (with some quite nasty violence here).  So now Drake needs to go and get back the money he was delivering.  It turns out the hijackers are arab extremists who are committing these crimes to fund a bigger project of some kind.  The FBI agent who Drake worked with in a past book tracks him down and uses him to infiltrate the gang (which he doesn't want to do but sees it as a way to get his money back).

The rest of the book takes place entirely in and around New York City.  There is a really silly side story where he befriends a rich runaway waif who is hooked on tea and tries to save her.  She of course gets brutally murdered by the bad guys.  The bad guys are preposterous and the job involves heisting some nuclear material was pretty goofy as well, but it had some fun moments and didn't take itself too seriously.  Not on the top of the pantheon of Dan J. Marlowe books, for sure.

There is a beautiful Turkish woman in the book, but none of it
takes place anywhere near a middle eastern window like that.

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