The Man with Many Names

The Man with Many Names

by Richard Oliver Collin, Richard O. Collin

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In a stunning tale of Cold War politics, espionage, betrayal and atonement, a disillusioned U.S. intelligence officer known only as ``the Adviser'' is dispatched to the Sultanate of Oman on the Arabian peninsula circa 1980 to help British forces crush a populist uprising. A failed seminary student turned spy, the Adviser, who was raised by nuns in a series of orphanages, is a reluctant warrior, skeptical of America's Third World meddling and nauseated by the carnage he unleashes. As he shares his most personal secrets with a British sergeant major, we gradually learn why the Adviser suffers from a tormented conscience: his previous assignment involved penetrating an antinuclear protest group in England and betraying his pregnant fiance, a British activist involved with physically blocking the deployment of U.S. cruise missiles in Britain. Collin (Contessa) draws fiercely memorable characters, such as ``Napalm,'' a former chaplain driven berserk by battle trauma and who now repeatedly mutters or screams his nickname as he tools around wearing an Arab kaffiyeh like some kind of demented Lawrence of Arabia. The Adviser's decision to adopt an Arab girl whom he orphaned by tossing a grenade into her house caps a sophisticated novel that rivets both as an intelligent spy thriller and as a grimly humorous expos of war's absurdities (Feb.)
Brian McCombie
This fine novel meditates, in various ways, on the cost of many betrayals. The main character is the Adviser, an American intelligence officer aiding the British army in Oman. His job is to help the Brits root out local rebels through the use of satellite data. The backdrop is high-tech spying and a dirty little war, but the book's core is the search for redemption and belief. Before the story begins, the Adviser's work has required him to use and manipulate a woman he truly loved, and the memory of his deception haunts him. He's lived a life of pseudonyms and lies, where telling the truth is "an uncomfortable sensation." And yet this war in which he becomes a participant forces truth into the open. This novel includes a great cast of supporting characters. Reminiscent of le Carre's best novels and with a touch of "Henderson the Rain King."

Product Details

St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.72(w) x 8.51(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >