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Spy Sinker Hardcover – 13 Sep 1990

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 387 pages
  • Publisher: Century; First Edition edition (13 Sept. 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091743206
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091743208
  • Product Dimensions: 22.1 x 14.5 x 4.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 946,867 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in London, Len Deighton served in the RAF before graduating from the Royal College of Art (which recently elected him a Senior Fellow). While in New York City working as a magazine illustrator he began writing his first novel, The Ipcress File, which was published in 1962. He is now the author of more than thirty books of fiction and non-fiction. At present living in Europe, he has, over the years, lived with his family in ten different countries from Austria to Portugal.

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Review

‘All done with the chilling competence we expect from Mr Deighton… No padding, no slowing of pace, and writing is crisp and brutal’
Daily Telegraph

‘Dazzling ingenuity and cleverness’
Independent

‘A remarkable feat’
Sunday Express

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Born in London, Len Deighton served in the RAF before graduating from the Royal College of Art (which recently elected him a Senior Fellow). While in New York City working as a magazine illustrator he began writing his first novel, The Ipcress File, which was published in 1962. He is now the author of more than thirty books of fiction and non-fiction. At present living in Europe, he has, over the years, lived with his family in ten different countries from Austria to Portugal.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 25 April 2001
Format: Paperback
When I first discovered the context and timing of Deighton's 'Sinker' I was, to say the least, puzzled. Although technically the third book in the Hook, Line, Sinker trilogy, its beginnings are a decade before the first two books. However, while the book could stand alone on its own merits, its place in the trilogy makes it into so much more. Though those who have read the first two books of the trilogy will know much of the way the story will twist and turn, there are still many surprises and revelations of the kind of which Deighton is the master. 'Sinker', written from a different perspective to the other Bernard Samson novels, answers many of the questions posed throughout the saga which could not have been revealed otherwise. Indeed, many of the revelations answer questions which the reader would hardly have noticed when reading the earlier novels. Those who have also read 'Winter' will gain all the more from the privilege - as is the case any of the Samson novels. Friends and foes alike return to enthrall the reader, and much more is learnt of all - the detached Anglophile Bret Rensellaer, warm yet dark Uncle Silas, the ever resouceful and loyal Werner Wolkmann, the doddering D-G, Stinnes the KGB Major and Fiona Samson, never short of a surprise. All in all the book is of class which few but Deighton can acheive, and draws you into a very personal level. A book I would recommend without hesitation to anyone.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The final book of Len Deighton’s Hook / Line / Sinker trilogy (which in turn is the middle of his three trilogies about MI6 man Bernard Samson during the Cold War), Spy Sinker takes a different approach from the preceding five volumes, making reading it in order essential.

Through the previous five volumes, Len Deighton took the reader along one chronological sequence about Samson's battles with the KGB, his own colleagues and his family, all written from Bernard Samson's perspective. During that, the understanding the characters and the reader had of old events frequently got reshaped by new evidence - with a succession of different apparent traitors responsible for one particular event, for example.

In Spy Sinker, however, Len Deighton backtracks in time and volume six retraces the events of volumes one to five through a series of scenes from the viewpoints of other characters, and each of which gives a different spin on events from that presented first time round. (Sinker starts several years before the chronological sequence of the previous volumes but the earlier events it covers are ones that have previously featured in the plot.)

It's an extremely clever culmination to the storyline built up through the two trilogies and given how much of the cleverness relies on details being given a new perspective, the books are best either read by people with excellent memories or in quick succession.
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Format: Paperback
This 6th and final part of the trilogy "Hook, Line and Sinker" marks Len Deighton (LD)'s second series about spy couple-with-children Bernard and Fiona Samson. Key facts are withheld in this review about what went on before. All nine books of LDs 3 trilogies (and "Winter: a Berlin Family, 1899-1945" written after the first trilogy) can be read as stand-alone spy fictions. Reading them in sequence does add value.

"Spy Sinker" is basically a 'prequel' going back to 1977 when plans were first made to place an agent inside the Kremlin or its next best alternative, East Berlin. Doing so would take many years of careful preparations with only two or three very senior people fully in the know. LD used the prequel-format also for some reverse engineering, adding new dimensions and angles, secrets even to the series' main protagonists. Fiona and Bret Rensselaer are highlighted in particular, but LD also makes clever, brief and new allusions to minor events and -actors in the series. SS ends in 1987, and has intriguing clues for the final trilogy "Faith, Hope and Charity". The back cover of my copy lauded this volume as LDs best. Not true. It is an amusing, but somewhat superfluous rehash with too much psychology.
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By Amazon Customer on 2 May 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A very satisfying retelling of the events in the Samson series (i.e. Berlin Game through to Spy Line) but this time not limited to Samson's perspective. Events that you will have seen in the other books will take on new meaning now from a new perspective. Strangely, you do have the desire to re-read the other books in the series now that you have the big picture.

Definitely, definitely not dull if you love cold war spy fiction - the surprises don't from a surprise ending (as the book ends in much the same place as Spy Line) but in understanding that was behind key events in the series.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Written in Len Deighton's usual flowing easy style the trilogy of books are an excellent read and I would recomend them. However I disagree with the author that you can read each book as an independant novel. Well, ok, you can, but too many things would not make sense or add up until you've read all three, particularly the last one (Sinker) which returns to the start of the story and sets the scene for what came next. You could almost read Sinker first. Much as I enjoyed the series, I felt a little cheated that I had to buy three books to get what is effectively one story.
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