Faith by Len Deighton (1994)

‘If there’s one thing I pride myself on, it’s being able to sort out complicated technical material so it can be understood by the layman.’ ‘Yes, you have a mechanical mind, Dicky, I said. ‘So why don’t you wind it up this week? Yes, I’ve heard that joke, Bernard. It’s time you got some new […]

Violent Ward by Len Deighton (1993)

I had a bad feeling about this one – books set in America by British writers are often duff – but this is Deighton’s most enjoyable novel for years. Mickey Murphy It’s a first-person narrative in the voice of Mickey Murphy, a street-wise, fast-talking, unscrupulous Los Angeles lawyer. Inevitably, he’s divorced – the novel opens […]

City of Gold by Len Deighton (1992)

Part one – Plot summary Cairo during the war Because of the chameleon on the book cover I thought this might be another novel set in South America, the setting of MAMista, but in fact this one is set in wartime Cairo – apparently known back then as the ‘city of gold’ – in January 1942, as […]

MAMista by Len Deighton (1991)

In The Night Manager we saw how John le Carré reacted to the fall of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War – the subjects which had provided his fictional bread and butter for nearly thirty years. He reacted by moving the same organisation – British Intelligence […]

Red Square by Martin Cruz Smith (1992)

Sometimes Arkady had the feeling that while he was away, God had lifted Moscow and turned it upside down. It was a nether-Moscow he had returned to, no longer under the grey hand of the Party. (p.41) The third in the Arkady Renko series is the longest so far, at 472 pages. Like the first […]

Spy Sinker by Len Deighton (1990)

This the third and final novel in the second trilogy of books about 40-something British intelligence officer Bernard Samson. In the first trilogy (Berlin Game, Mexico Set, London Match) his gorgeous, clever wife Fiona was exposed as a high-level ‘mole’ in the Department and forced to flee in a hurry to East Berlin. In the […]

Spy Line by Len Deighton (1990)

This is the second novel in the second trilogy about 40-something British intelligence agent, Bernard Samson. At the end of its predecessor he was on the run in Berlin, an arrest warrant issued by his own side for treason, presumably because he had been investigating (and publicising) a top secret slush fund which his wife […]

Spy Hook by Len Deighton (1988)

No matter where I went or what I did, Berlin would always be home for me. My father had been Resident long ago… and Berlin held all my happy childhood recollections. (p.43) The previous trilogy (Berlin Game, Mexico Set, London Match) featuring just-turning-forty British spy Bernard Samson all took place in the space of a […]

Winter by Len Deighton (1987)

‘And how would Himmler benefit?’ ‘If Fritsch went, the Reihsführer-SS would also take the opportunity to extend his powers.’ ‘Himmler, extend his powers? My God, the fellow has taken over all the police forces in Germany. And now he’s expanded this SS army of his to two regiments, plus a combat-engineer company and a communications […]

London Match by Len Deighton (1985)

I nodded and wondered where Posh Harry had got the idea that Bret was suspected of leaking to the Americans. Was that Lange’s misinterpretation or Harry’s? Or was it simply that no one could start to envisage him doing anything as dishonourable as spying for the Russians? And if that was it, was I wrong? […]