Henry Porter's A Spy's Life
surpasses even its predecessor Remembrance Day
, which achieved an unprecedented amount of enthusiastic word of mouth. Here, he brilliantly blends the thriller elements into a bizarre and surrealistic narrative that constantly surprises the reader.
A massive air crash in New York kills 19 people, most of them working for the United Nations. The only survivor is a British ex-spy, Robert Harland. After a traumatic encounter with torture in Czechoslovakia during the Velvet Revolution, he is now working for the UN in a low-key, non-espionage role. Anyone familiar with the genre will know that attempts to retire from the spy trade are always doomed to failure, and Harland's freak survival of the plane crash soon makes him public property again. The FBI and other shadowy forces are keen to find out what he was doing on the plane. And as Harland speedily finds himself in lethal situations again, his life is further complicated by the appearance of a young man claiming to be his son by Eva, a young Czech agent with whom Harland was in love. With a mass murderer called Viktor Lipnik figuring into the equation, the reader is quickly beguiled by the kind of highly dangerous pyrotechnics that distinguished John le Carré's early books. In fact, the influence of le Carré's finest book, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, is evident here, and it's a measure of Porter's success that he is more than able to hold his own in this august company. --Barry Forshaw
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Porter has woven a spy genre of his own which rivals the best of Le Carre: surely Robert Powell's fine narration can be but a stepping stone to a film? (Rachel Redford OBSERVER