Reviewers of Len Deighton (LD)'s triple trilogy about MI-6 spy Bernard Samson (BS; 1983-1996) and his brilliant 1987 intermezzo "Winter", skate on thin ice. It is a 10-book series, with LD himself assuring readers that each book can be read separately. But a little too much said about any book or a summary, may prompt other readers, esp. in the US, to decry reviewers as `spoilers'.
LDs "Faith" is an energetic restart of a series that stalled with part 6, "Spy Sinker". Fiona, Bernard's wife, who defected to the DDR years ago but who was an MI-6 agent after all, finally returns home at a time when BS suffers setbacks and violence in that same country. Old and new readers will enjoy how BS tries to solve his many problems with wife Fiona, his beloved Gloria, his children, Tessa's widower George, coping with power-hungry Dicky Cruyer at MI-6 HQ and with the cloud he seems to still live under. And he faces more problems when the book progresses...
A key question is how credible these thousands of pages are/were, including this volume 7?
Why is BS still under a cloud? Why has MI-6 a Deputy DG who also runs a law firm and is rarely seen? Why is the sick, old DG, rarely at work, not replaced? Why is MI-6 doting so much on long-retired Silas Gaunt's judgment? And how can flaky Dicky Cruyer survive so long and still be on a promotion tract, gain support and admiration from newly-returned Fiona? Why can MI-6 decide to send BS on mission to the DDR yet again?
A very tense book, well-plotted and written in a beautiful style full of deep background and context. And with plenty of intriguing, unresolved issues, like rumblings heard at the foothills of a volcano... Two books to go!