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The Guest of Honour by Irving Wallace

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One of the storied pair is US President Matthew Underwood, a Walter Cronkite-ish ex-TV anchor more interested in boxing matches than in what he sees as the dull details of state--until he meets Noy Sang, young and sexy president of the small East Asian island nation of Lampang. The politically moderate widow of the former president--obviously assassinated, despite Wallace`s halfhearted obfuscations, not by the communist opposition but on order of ambitious right-wing leader Gen. Samak Nakorn--Noy is in D.C. to ask for millions in aid in exchange for Lampang land on which the US can build an air base. One glance and Underwood is smitten (""This woman exude[s] natural eroticism,"" he thinks), giving Noy twice as much money as expected for less land, then inviting her to an intimate secret lunch in Georgetown. And despite the jealousy of Underwood`s scheming former Miss America wife and dogged tailing by Sam Donald-ish reporter Hy Hasken, when Noy`s sister is poisoned (again, clearly by Nakorn), Underwood flies to Lampang for the funeral, then romps in the surf with a sarong, clad Noy (`Ill bet she has great tits without a sarong,"" he says to his Secretary of State). In fact, so strong in his yen for Noy that when she is kidnapped upon announcing her reelection bid, Underwood flies into Lampang, accuses Nakorn of the snatch, and then, with Hasken`s help, sleuths out Noy`s location and shoots down her captor--all this heroism rewarded, of course, by a graphically depicted Presidential tumble in Noy`s bed. An embarrassment from first page to last, with wooden characters, plotting, and prose. You can almost hear the termites gnawing away--or are those clung beetles?

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