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A Tangle of Vines by Patricia Bragdon

A Tangle of Vines

by Patricia Bragdon

250 pages
Jakarta, Indonesia, 1968. Amid seduction, KGB plotting, and life in the lush gardens of Java and Bali, a Russian ballerina fights for her freedom. To help, her American friend Ruth must contend with the misogyny of the U.S. foreign service.

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Category: Fiction:Historical:Thriller
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About the Book
Jakarta, Indonesia, 1968. A troubled U.S. embassy, a senior American diplomat vanished from a palm-fringed Indian Ocean beach, and a glamorous Russian ballerina mysteriously involved in a KGB plot against the embassy, all combine to create complications in the life of recently-arrived Ruth Fairchild.

Ruth's husband, Mark, has been assigned to the embassy to replace a fellow diplomat who has disappeared under suspicious circumstances in a swimming accident at a beach on the Indian Ocean, a beach so beautiful that it is supposedly the home of the Sea Goddess. Ruth begins to settle into the foreign community but, when the cook she has recently fired for trying to kill her beloved Siamese cat, turns up floating dead in the embassy swimming pool and a colleague tries to seduce her, she begins to understand that life at this post may not be simply a sojourn in exotic tropical surroundings.

When she meets Nina Smirnova, wife of the Soviet ambassador to Indonesia, Ruth feels that she has found a friend, but now her life becomes even more complicated. Nina confesses to her that she has been ordered by the KGB to seduce an American diplomat to compromise him into working for the Soviets. Already in sympathy with the new American feminists who seek to overturn the stuffy misogyny of the foreign service, Ruth, seeing a way to prove that women are as competent as men in diplomatic matters while also aiding Nina, decides to help her.

Amid intrigue, seduction, Cold War plotting, and life among lively expatriates in the lush gardens of Java and the temples and courtyards of Bali, the story moves to a dramatic conclusion.



About the Author
The author, Patricia Bragdon, accompanied her husband on his foreign service assignments to the U.S.S.R. and Indonesia, among others. She lives now in Virginia, where she reads, gardens, and enjoys the company of her Siamese cat, Mr. Goober.



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