Bantam, Jul 2002, 23.95, 405 pp.
The “Legendary American” joined the OSS during World War II and remained with the espionage group when it was converted into the CIA. In 1945 Jack Roderick enters Bangkok. Over the next two decades he lives in Thailand rarely leaving the country and becomes known as “The Silk King” perhaps for his successful merchant business or as many locals claim as his cover for his work as a foreign spy. However, in 1967, Jack vanishes never to be seen again at about the same time that his son dies in Nam.
Decades later, Jack's grandson, Olympic ski champion Max, demands that the Thai government turn over to him his grandfather's possessions including a spectacular house in Bangkok. Instead of owning a new home, Max finds himself embroiled in a deadly conspiracy. He turns to risk expert Oliver Krane and financial guru Stefani Fogg for help.
When this historical fiction focuses on three generations of Rodericks, it is an exciting story that will electrify the audience who need to know what happened to Jack THE SECRET AGENT, desire to understand more about Rory, and want to see what will occur to Max. On the other hand, the Stefani subplot detours the story line away from its prime theme. Still, Francine Mathews provides an interesting novel filled with plenty of action and an intriguing look back at Southeast Asia during the Nam period that will excite fans of twentieth century thrillers.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner