Books: Double Crosses THE COLOR OF BLOOD

by Brian Moore Dutton; 182 pages; $16.95

Church and state enjoy, at the best of times, a somewhat uneasy balance of power. In Communist Europe, where a fierce sense of religious tradition coexists with a firm sense of political exigency, the mighty opposites struggle within an especially complex marriage of convenience. The frictions between their competing claims are felt most urgently perhaps by the powers at the head of the church. Divided loyalties become a double cross to bear.

Such are the tensions that animate The Color of Blood, Brian Moore's 16th novel. The setting here is the rather '60s-ish cold-war zone of Central Europe, an anonymously rainy,...

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