The 9-Month Caper

The 9-Month Caper



The Pequod Review:

The 9-Month Caper is a poorly plotted spy novel set in the middle of the 1960s Latin American socialist revolutions. But Ted Mark's prose has some fun-loving mischievousness:

The chartered plane set me down in Miami at 2:30 p.m. By 3:30 the taxi had taken me to my hotel on the beach and I was registered. At 4:30 I was lolling beside the pool when I spotted the bikini'd redhead turning a somersault off the high board. By 5:30 we had gotten to know each other, 6:30 I picked her up for cocktails, 7:30 we had dinner, 8:30 we had an after-dinner drink, 9:30 we hit the first night spot, 10:30 the second, 11:30, 12:30 and 1:30 dittos. At 2:30 I made love to her in her room — 3:30 likewise, after which I left her. At 4:30 I was surprised to see her wander into the sleazy after-house joint where I'd stopped for a nightcap. At 5:30 I was trussed up and spreadeagled with her half-naked and kneeling on my chest, holding a needle-sharp knife-point against my throat. The question was, would I still be alive to watch that tropical sun come up over Miami Beach at 6:30 a.m.?

A good question. But before it's answered, before that knife turns me into a jugular bleeder, or, hopefully, fate ties a tourniquet, I guess I'd better sift the hour-glass for the pertinent sands.