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The Well-Mannered Assassin

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After three thrilling memoirs, America's glamorous secret agent gives us a novel of international intrigue and terror so rich in detail that only someone who had lived through such dangers could have imagined it. In her fourth book, Aline Romanones, American beauty, Spanish socialite, devoted mother, and spy, makes her first foray into the world of fiction. Drawing on some of her most frightening moments as an undercover agent, as well as her unique channels of information, the Countess crafts a novel of stunning...
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Overview

After three thrilling memoirs, America's glamorous secret agent gives us a novel of international intrigue and terror so rich in detail that only someone who had lived through such dangers could have imagined it. In her fourth book, Aline Romanones, American beauty, Spanish socialite, devoted mother, and spy, makes her first foray into the world of fiction. Drawing on some of her most frightening moments as an undercover agent, as well as her unique channels of information, the Countess crafts a novel of stunning suspense. When a handsome young man calls on business one day for Aline a pleasant and casual acquaintanceship begins. Yet the flowers she receives suggest he has something different in mind. Only afterward, when it is too late to change the course of events, will she learn the truth - that her charming new friend is actually the notorious terrorist known as Carlos the Jackal. A deadly game of cat-and-mouse ensues, taking Aline through a host of lavish settings in Bavaria, Paris, and Marbella, where friends can no longer be trusted and she will need all her skills as a former OSS operative to get out alive.

The American model-turned-spy draws on her own experience as an undercover agent to create a novel of adventure and suspense. In Madrid, a former OSS agent's chance encounter with a charming businessman turns into a deadly game of cat-and-mouse when she realizes her new friend is an infamous terrorist.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This stilted first novel by former OSS agent Romanones ( The Spy Wore Silk ) is a transparently veiled account of what the author claims were her real-life adventures with legendary international assassin Carlos the Jackal. Laden with luminaries (Ava Gardner, the Duchess of Windsor, General Norman Schwarzkopf) who have little or nothing to do with the central plot, the tale, set mostly in the late '70s and featuring Aline as its narrator and heroine, moves from one jet-set home or event to another. Despite the objections of her often duped but invariably tolerant husband, Aline agrees to help her former ``spymaster,'' John Derby, to keep materials and designs for the manufacture of nuclear weapons from falling into terrorist hands, and soon she's teaming up with a former KGB agent to save the world for democracy. Carlos, depicted as utterly charming and courtly except for his unfortunate penchant for homicide, shows up often, even saving Aline's life while she's helping to rescue a friend from an evil husband. Guns rigged to backfire, arms deals and murders punch up the action as Aline spies just as hard as she can. But in spite of some essential plot twists, Aline leaches her narrative of excitement by broadly forecasting many events and by stuffing it with trivia (the type of tobacco in Carlos's cigarettes; the makeup routine of Libya's Khadafy). For all of the author's apparent ambitions, Aline the fictional spy is no Jane Bond--and Aline the writer is no Ian Fleming. Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club alternates. (May)
Library Journal
In this first novel, the author of three volumes of memoirs based on her experiences as an intelligence agent during and after World War II offers a fictionalized account of the illegal traffic in nuclear weapons materiel. The story features the exploits of Carlos the Jackal-one of the most deadly international terrorist-assassins-whom the author personally became involved with in the late 1970s. Moving from Marbella to the Arabian Peninsula to Toledo and on to St. Moritz, the story is peopled with fictionalized scions of industry as well as famous movers on the international jet-set scene such as Ava Gardner. There is much name-and place-dropping and overlong descriptions of meals, rooms, and clothes, but the reader's interest is held by the dry, detailed accounting of events surrounding this episode in the further adventures of Carlos the Jackal. Recommended for general fiction collections, particularly where the author's earlier works are popular. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 1/ 94.]-Erna Chamberlain, SUNY at Binghamton
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780515115338
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/1/1995
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 1
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 5.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

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