Share this story
Close X
Switch to Desktop Site

Compelling spring reading; Spy hero's new escapades Marco Polo, If You Can, by William F. Buckley. New York: Avon. 262 pp. $3.50.

Blackford Oakes, the derring-do spy hero of this and three earlier novels, is re-recruited into the fold for a special assignment. ''Blackie'' dashes about the world in pursuit of a ''mole'' who has penetrated the National Security Council. It is giving little away to say that Oakes ends up crash-landing a U-2 near the Sino-Soviet border.

Oakes's escapades are interspersed with appearances by actuN-Oical figures: Khrushchev, Eisenhower, Dean Acheson. This use of imaginary conver3atioVs among the high and mighty makes Buckley's book different from run-of-the-mill thrillers; he is perhaps the only American spy author who uses domestic politics to provide the real intrigue. The spy genre benefits richly from his use of domestic politics.

About these ads

Follow Stories Like This
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.