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Reviews of Doctor Frigo (1974)

Review by michael a draper (2010-07-18)
Dr. Frigo is the nickname of Dr. Ernesto Castillo. His father died or was assassinated and was a leading figure in the Democratic Socialist Party in St. Paul-les Alizes. With his death, leadership of the party would normally fall to Ernesto.

With this in mind, Ernesto is summoned to Commissaire Gillon's office to defend himself and assure the Commissaire that he wants no part of politics.

Manuel Villegas, who leads the Mexican group of the party and Segura Rojas, a compatriot of Dr. Castillo's father move back to the Island.

Ernesto's mistress, Elizabeth Martens, tells him that she believes that the French Secret Service needs a victory and wants to control Villegas.

A CIA agent approaches Ernesto and offers him a bribe.

Castillo is persuaded that if he wants to find out what really happened to his father, he should pretend to go along with Rojas and Villages.

Villages had been in Mexico because he had been exiled ther by the junta that overthrew Castillo's father. His health isn't good and Castillo is caring for him. Both the CIA agent and Gillon feel that if they could get information about Villages' health from Castillo, they would have an advantage.

The story is told in a narrative form with the details given as if the reader was getting the information from newspaper accounts. There is little drama or suspense. The style reminded me of Graham Green in "The Honorary Consul."

For a novel written in 1974, it was interesting to see what whas accepted at that time.

(This review refers to the 1974 version titled “Doctor Frigo”)




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