Hot Times in Panama: What would you do to serve your country?


In the 1950s Frank Babb was a special agent in the Army Counter Intelligence Corps in Panamá. After Harvard Law School he joined a large firm, specializing in mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance transactions, and general corporate law.  He graduated from Northwest Missouri State University with majors in English and French. He now lives in Tucson, Arizona.

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Shortly after the end of the Korean War, Missouri farm boy Frank Blake is drafted and posted to the Army Counterintelligence School. He expects to go to Korea with the rest of his classmates, but because his high school girlfriend convinced him to take a Spanish class with her instead of French, he’s sent to Panamá, assigned to a CIC unit that engages in clandestine operations.

At a party he meets Julia, an attractive young woman he thinks works for the Embassy. When Frank’s team is assigned an operation that depends on her, his war gets personal and dirty. After their mission, however, she vanishes. Frank longs to see Julia again, but he won’t discover why she disappeared until he receives a letter from her almost forty-five years later.

Interwoven with this mystery are the stories of the civilian soldiers who temporarily serve as secret agents in the backwaters of Central America, where outside the glare of public attention, Cold War tensions lead to deadly consequences.


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