Thursday, July 15, 2010

#37: Assignment Manchurian Doll by Edward S. Aarons

In the heat of the Cold War, an old enemy of U.S. spy Sam Durell has decided he will only defect across the Iron Curtain to him, sending Durell to Japan and then "Red China" while double- and triple-crossing friends and enemies stalk his every move in Edward S. Aarons' Assignment Manchurian Doll.

Longtime readers of this blog know that I have been rediscovering and enjoying Aarons' espionage novels of the 50s and 60s after snagging a big stack on ebay some time ago.  Most of the books I have read to date take place in the more sober late 50s, with plenty of rain-slick Washington streets, but this entry is square in the middle of the freewheeling 60s.  There is a lot more sex and sadism than the ones I had read prior, with some oversized villains of the flavor Ian Fleming favored at the time. 

For the curious, the "Manchurian Doll" of the title is a sexy Stalinist who loves Durell's enemy and has to team up with Uncle Sam's finest to defeat a greater foe.

Another good entry in the long-running Gold Medal series.

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