Thursday, June 23, 2016

"The Mulberry Bush", the latest novel by Charles McCarry

This book was a welcome find.  Written last year when McCarry was 86, it was a  surprise to find.  His finest novels were written in the 1980's and were totally focused on the period from the early beginnings of World War II up until the time of President Kennedy.  A former CIA officer, his knowledge of the ins  and outs of espionage was stellar, and the historical fiction that he wrote in this genre was better than any other writer.

"The Mulberry Bush" is about the activities of the CIA, the Russians, and others in Argentina during the significant turmoil and carnage there in the late 20th century.  Once again, historical fiction is at work, and the story is convincing, and easily kept the attention of this reader.  One could say that the ending of the book was somewhat flat, allowing no conclusions and really losing any of the historical meaning that was evident in his earlier books. Maybe that was all there was to that conflict, just personal and family vendettas and of little real political meaning.  While ideological disputes and age old tribal loyalties resonate in disputes in much of the world, in Central and South America family fiefdoms are center stage.

It was nice to find that McCarry is still writing, and writing well.   Another recent book from McCarry is on the way from Amazon Prime, an amazing service.

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