Saturday, May 14, 2011

Flashpoint by George La Fountaine

FlashPoint by George La Fountaine
Fawcett 2-3644-7
Copyright 1976

"But who in the hell can we trust to ask about it? We can't just walk into a bank and ask if this is counterfeit; they might be looking for numbers or something."

Ernie Wheeler and Bob Logan are best friends. They do everything together - eat, booze it up, lure the ladies to their bachelor pad-everything. They also work together, they are 1970s Border Patrol officers along the dry South Texas barren lands. Things are changing for them. The computer age is stepping in and they see the threat of their free-roaming job being replaced with one sitting behind a computer desk. They talk of chucking it all away and live high, but you need cash in the bank for that and they don't have any. Opportunity knocks one day when Logan discovers an old half buried jeep in a desert wash. Inside the jeep is a skeleton and $850,000 . The bills are dated back to the early 60s and since there is a rifle and other odd items in the jeep, Logan and Wheeler decide to secretly investigate into why it was there and who the bones belong to in the jeep. They later learn there is much more to this mystery than they ever thought. Deadly more....

Flashpoint is one of those fast paced thrillers that filled the book racks in the mid 70s. I had a hunger for them back then and this one slipped under my radar. I'm glad I caught up to the paperback. It contains all the ingredients for a violent, mysterious novel and as I was racing through it, I was always wondering on how it was going to end. It has a climatic finish which if you don't pay attention to the little clues that George La Fountaine provides throughout the novel, you might be very surprised. Logan and Wheeler are two well developed characters. They come off as semi-tough guys and show sympathy for the flight of the illegal immigrants. The only problem I had with them was they were a little too close of friends. A lot of interesting government intervention makes the mystery deepen. As the cover states, George La Fountaine wrote Two Minute Warning which was a huge success for him. For me, Flashpoint stands up right along side it.


JJ Stickney said...

Wasn't this mad into a film with Treat Williams and Kris Kristofferson?
I look forward to reading the book.

August West said...

JJ: I checked and you are right. Made in 1984 and got some favorable reviews. Thanks for the tip.