FORGOTTEN BOOKS: THE LONG COUNT!
Even though he had a string of novels published during the seventies and eighties, including some paperback originals for Gold Medal, I can’t find out much about Ron Faust other than he was once a baseball player and a journalist.
I remember reading most of his early outings and being impressed by his vivid use of various South American settings. Faust also manages to take fairly standard plots and take them in unexpected directions.
The Long Count is one of my favorite of Faust’s novels. Again it features a South American setting, a Hemingwayesque hero, and a driving narrative that pounds through to the end of the tale.
THE LONG COUNT
They called him Racine.
He used to be a top heavyweight contender in the good old U.S. of A. Now he was stuck in South America, where he had tried to get back into a game he was too old for.
He had accidentally killed a boy in the ring and they wouldn’t give him back his passport. So, he figured if he could get to the Ambassador, his problems would be over. They weren’t. They were just beginning.
Because when Racine crashed the Ambassador’s party, he ran into a bunch of young terrorists, who kidnapped him along with the Ambassador and a few friends. They murdered a couple of bystanders in cold blood. And Racine could figure what they had in mind for him.
Suddenly everything he’d learned as a prizefighter came zipping into his head. He was a survivor, dammit.
They were going to have one helluva a time killing him . . .
For some reason, Faust never made it into the top rank of writers, yet he had the skill to do so – a familiar story in the annals of publishing where success is most often determined by factors other than talent.