Saturday, July 23, 2016
Johnny Fedora #4: “Trieste” by Desmond Cory. British Intelligence has arrested a man they believe is Gregor Panagos, a communist agitator planning something to cause a war in Jugoslavia, but all that is known is “the balloon goes up August 30.” They send Trout to investigate, and he requests the help of Johnny Fedora, who is no longer attached to the service, but works for them occasionally. Together, they go into Trieste, where they have trouble with the local police, and a highly trained assassin named Palli. I’ve read some Johnny Fedora novels where Fedora just stands around looking deadly, and does nothing till the end of the novel. This is pretty much that plot, although he doesn’t actually stand around looking deadly. In fact through the first hundred pages, he does very little of anything. It’s Trout doing all the work. Thankfully the second half of the book picks up, and Johnny is in a fight to the death in one scene, then another where he must assassinate the assassin. The story was a fun read, but Johnny isn’t really in good form in this one. The author even tries for a bit of humor between Trout and Johnny.