Customer Review

3.0 out of 5 stars Better than Ludlum, but Truman is no LeCarre..., December 26, 2001
This review is from: Murder in the CIA (Capital Crime Mysteries) (Mass Market Paperback)
This book is just the thing for a long plane flight, or a series of quiet evenings at home. Its strongest point is excellent plotting. The character development and scene-setting seemed a bit thin to me. Unlike the Smiley series by LeCarre, the writing seems much more commercial -- and it is hard to really feel (and intensely care about) the characters. (There are the usual romantic/sexual/love interests stirred in, but they seem superficial, reflecting Collette Cahill's shallow personality.) On the other hand, Truman's characters outshine Ludlum's stickmen; hers seem like real people (though just acquaintances, not friends). On excellent attribute of 'Murder in the CIA' is that one doesn't know who the 'bad guys' and the 'goods guys' are until just before the end of the tale. I would strongly suggest that readers who don't want to lose track of everyone really should keep a pad to jot down the names of each of the characters. This 303-page potboiler brings in quite a large cast, and many of them are important to the plot. This book was written during the Cold War, and younger readers may have some trouble connecting with the anti-Communist motivations behind a lot of the action. Also some of the devices (post-hypnotic recollections, for example) seem both contrived and dated. Things have changed a lot since 1987. --- In short, 'Murder in the CIA' is not great literature, but it is a fun read.
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Location: Houston, TX United States

Top Reviewer Ranking: 31,319