From Publishers Weekly
A female American diplomat is sucked into a terrorist plot and a famous novelist is forced to look hard at his values and beliefs in this second novel by Jacobs, a former foreign service officer and acclaimed short story writer (The Liberation of Little Heaven; Stone Cowboy). Set in Spain and Colombia, the novel is a suspense tale in the tradition of Graham Greene, though it lacks the force and finesse of Greene's work. Vicky Sorrell is ready to quit her job as a cultural attach at the American Embassy in Madrid when writer Jack Baines arrives and disrupts her plans. Jack's nephew has been kidnapped in Bogota, part of a plot by a smart, ugly rebel leader called Badger to embarrass America into withdrawing from Colombia, and Baines has been instructed by the kidnappers to put pressure on American officials. The trouble is that Baines is not very believable-either as the kind of bestselling, critically acclaimed novelist who might have political influence (he comes across as a second-rate Robert Stone) or as a possible lover who might tempt a sharp, disillusioned woman like Vicky. And despite Jacobs's skill at bringing Spain and its diplomatic circles to life, there's a mustiness to the setting that makes it seem light-years from today's headlines.
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Just when Vicky Sorrell decides to walk away from her lover as well as her career in the U.S. Diplomatic Service, she is drawn into a serpentine terrorist plot involving a plan to abduct Americans (mostly high-level government workers) and hold them hostage until the U.S. leaves Colombia. Although the novel begins slowly, it soon revs into high gear as Jacobs deftly moves from the machinations of a South American guerrilla leader to a posh party for Spain's wealthiest citizens to the kidnapping of the teenage nephew of an American novelist currently in Madrid. Vicky is forced to make difficult decisions in a world of smoke and mirrors, where motives are well camouflaged and trust is a precious commodity. Jacobs, a former foreign service officer and author of Stone Cowboy
(1999), knows the emotional and psychological territory of terrorism. He does a nice job of conveying the effects of American hegemony on men and women desperate to determine their own fates rather than having them imposed by a superpower. Nancy PearlCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved