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1982 – The Second Saladin

Dustjacket from hardcover book

This was Hunter’s second – and last – novel for William Morrow & Company, and was set in a much more modern environment. From the back cover of the paperback:

A second chance…

In the windswept sands of the Middle East, Paul Chardy fought side by side with Ulu Beg: one, a charismatic, high-strung CIA covert warrior, the other a ferocious freedom fighter. Then Chardy fell into the hands of the enemy, and Beg was betrayed. Now the two men are about to meet again.

A second gun…

Beg has come over the Mexican border under a hail of bullets–determined to assassinate a leading American political figure and avenge his people’s betrayal. The CIA wants Chardy to stop the hit. Chardy wants to save Beg’s life.

The Second Saladin…

Between the two men is a tragic past, a failed mission, and a woman who knew them in war–and who knows their secrets now. Around both men is a conspiracy of lies and violence that reaches back to the Cold War. But as Beg moves in for his kill and as Chardy breaks loose from his handlers, a terrible truth begins to emerge: somewhere, someone wants both men to die.

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3 Responses to “1982 – The Second Saladin”

  1. Annoyed Grunt Says:

    Anything published before Day Before Midnight seems to have mixed reviews from Hunter fans but I liked this one well enough. I loved reading the back story of Frenchy before he became such a notorious figure in the rest of the novels. The main problem I was was with the computer scenes near the end. I was born the year the book came out and I could barely understand what was going on with the interface on these ‘ancient’ computers. Never the less it’s worth picking up for anyone needing a fix before the next novel comes out.

  2. Joseph Harder Says:

    This may soud a little eccentric, but there is a fascinating reminder inthis bookthat hunter once wrote about country music for The Baltimore Sun, The two epigraphs are from the Krdish battle oath, and from the great, under-rated Lacy J. Dalto's "Are There any Real Cowboys left in the Good Ole' USA/?"
    Somehow, both those things please me.

  3. Timon Says:

    *In Defence of The Second Saladin’

    Possibly Hunter’s most pessimistic and bleak novel ‘The Second Saladin’ is still an excellent thriller although it is hard to take any joy from a character who is abused, manipulated and betrayed by people around him -and that is just the ‘villain’ Ulu Begg!
    But it is this quality that gives the novel such a haunting and gripping edge as the protagonist, Paul Chardy, struggles to find a solution to a potentially disasterous assassination. The violence cuts deep and has damaging consequences and the Cold war is fought with a chilling calculation and ruthlessness. Whereas ‘Dirty White Boys’ has an agreeable resolution ‘The Second Saladin’ shows a realistic depiction of death and destruction which leaves a vast and gaping hole in peolples lives. It is this reason why I read this novel again and again.

    One final note I might add to those who feel that this is unlike Hunter’s later work is to see his work as a movie critic at this time to provide some context (i.e. his reviews in Violent Screen from 1982-1990)-his attitude towards violence is almost one of digust mixed with attraction. As his attitude evolves throughout the years it is reflected in his essays and books.

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