LAWRENCE SANDERS – The Tangent Factor. Peter Tangent #2. Putnam’s, hardcover, 1978. Berkley, paperback, 1979.

   Out of the patchwork quilt that’s the map of present-day Africa comes a dream of a united continent. Obiri Anokye is today but the ruler of the small (fictional) country of Asante, but with a little help from busily pumping oil wells, and the advice of men like Peter Tangent, nominally a representative of American commercial interests, that dream may yet become a reality.

   It’d be unfair to reveal whether this novel ends as a setback toward that goal, or as a step forward, but as a story it does suffer from the fact that the effort has by no means ended. Nevertheless, rich in detail but still aesthetically lean in dialogue and characterization, and punctuated briefly by sophisticated sex and extreme violence, this has all the hallmarks of a top seller.

Rating: C plus

– Slightly revised from The MYSTERY FANcier, September/October 1978.