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Fiction

November 08, 1987|Paul Dean.

THE BAD ANGEL by Ernest K. Gann (Arbor House: $17.95; 271 pp.). Lee Rogers is a freshman in Congress, a father, a cowboy, a novitiate and idealist, a straight arrow of unerring conservatism, an uncompromised nonpareil by God and by Goldwater with a jaw set as firm as the Montana he represents. Rep. Rogers' parliamentary philosophy is equally unyielding: That the United States is under incessant assault by drugs and international traffickers and whereas our casualties (including the death by overdose of Rogers' own son) are daily and heavy, this nation must declare immediate war against any nation that cannot or will not crush its drug production.

The notion of sending Delta Force and the USS Missouri and Tactical Air Command to South America, however, does not sit universally well with Washington and its factions and therein writhes the plot--right down to the kidnaping of Rogers by a psychopathic Colombian cocaine lord. Unfortunately, Gann's characters are uncomplicated and predictable, and although the cabal builds well, it only flutters to a conclusion. This is not bad Gann. It just isn't vintage Gann.

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