Title: The Defector
Author: Charles Collingwood
Collingwood, Charles (1969, 1970).The Defector. New York, Harper & Row
Date Posted: November 18, 2016
It seems to be the fate of every foreign correspondent (Gunther, Salisbury, et al.) to write a dull novel which perhaps years of clichéd cablese promotes. Mr. Collingwood of CBS has written one about Bill Benson of IBS who agrees to the suggestion of Ned Bailey (ex-CIA) to go to Hanoi and help the North Vietnamese Minister for Reconstruction defect. He’s Nguyen Van Thanh with a deservedly double name, Jack Fan Tan. Almost all of the novel proceeds as slowly as the Paris Peace Conference (except for one street fracas and Benson’s romance) to the final action at a bridge which leads into the demilitarized zone. . . “North Vietnam is a bad place to have danger on your trail; the things that might happen did not bear imagining. What would they do with spies, or defectors?” What would they do without them, or in the event of the unconditional withdrawal of this particular readership?