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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
In my project of reading all the Edgar winners for Best Novel (in chronological order), I've reached 1973. (The Edgars are awarded in May each year for books published the preceding year, so this book came out in 1972.) It's interesting how many of the winners in the 60s and early 70s dealt in some way with espionage. [book: The Lingala Code] is one of those. Author Warren Kiefer is a bit mysterious himself. Under the name of Lorenzo Sabatini, he directed Castle of the Living Dead, which gave Donald Sutherland his first big break and resulted in Sutherland's naming his son Kiefer. He directed and wrote screenplays for several other forgettable movies, and wrote 5 more novels after this one. It's tempting to think that he may have been a CIA agent like his protagonist, since there is so little information available about him. The Lingala Code is set in what was then (the book is set in the early 60s) known as Congo-Leopoldville; earlier the Belgian Congo, later Zaire, and now the Democratic Republic of Congo. At the time the book takes place, the Belgians have departed, Katanga Province has seceded, and all is in flux. Michel Vernon, a French-speaking CIA agent, is attached to the US Embassy in Leopoldville (now Kinshasa) as is his dearest friend, an air attache. When the friend is killed in what appears to be a robbery attempt, Vernon is suspicious and begins his own investigation. The book is a story about a murder, but it is also about espionage, cultures clashing, the birth pangs of a new African nation emerging from colonialism, and even a little romance. Kiefer tells all these stories very well, keeping the reader guessing until the last pages. A major theme in the book is that in Congo, things which at first appear normal and straightforward are really anything but. This is brought out not only in major plot elements but also in atmospheric asides, such as the descriptions of a beauty pageant of prostitutes and Sunday afternoon zoo outings where parents and children enjoy taunting and teasing the starving animals. It was not easy to lay hands on this book despite its award-winning status. You may have to go to interlibrary loan or pay $17 for a used copy online. Still, highly recommended.
Review: The Lingala CodeUser Review - Nikki - Goodreads
In my project of reading all the Edgar winners for Best Novel (in chronological order), I've reached 1973. (The Edgars are awarded in May each year for books published the preceding year, so this book ... Read full review
The Lingala Code · The Pontius Pilate Papers · Outlaw · The Stanton Succession. Awards. Edgar Awards Best Novel winner (1973) : The Lingala Code ...
www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/ k/ warren-kiefer/
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