Picks and Pans Review: Missionary Stew

updated 12/05/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/05/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST

by Ross Thomas

Stylishly cynical, this novel deals with the adventures of an American journalist. After more than a year in an African prison, he winds up in California, where he stumbles upon a political scandal that "could fall somewhere in between Teapot Dome and Watergate." The governor-elect, a man who can't wait to become President, is only one of the etched-with-acid characters. Everyone else is venal, corrupt, decadent, mean, greedy and just plain awful, too. Thomas, author of The Eighth Dwarf and The Mordida Man, is a tough-guy novelist with crispness to his prose and dialogue. He turns this violent, dark story into a fast-paced ironic caper. (Simon and Schuster, $15.95)

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