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The Private Sector: Marlow 1 (A Peter Marlow spy thriller)

The Private Sector: Marlow 1 (A Peter Marlow spy thriller) [Kindle Edition]

Joseph Hone , Jeremy Duns
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description

Product Description

With The Private Sector (1971) Joseph Hone introduced readers to British intelligence officer Peter Marlow, who would be the protagonist of three further novels - all now reissued in Faber Finds.

Cairo, May 1967: Marlow is sent from London to find his friend and fellow spy Henry Edwards, who has vanished. In the course of this fool's errand he also finds his former wife, Bridget, now deeply entangled with Edwards. Marlow moves easily between British and Egyptian intelligence branches, attaching allegiance to neither - until he becomes the unwitting victim of a failed plot to topple Nasser.

'An absolutely terrific espionage novel.' James Dickey

'A brilliant and calculated spy story . . . [Hone's] characters and the quality of the writing are so good that he has transcended the usual limitations of the genre.' Times Literary Supplement

About the Author

Joseph Hone, born 1937, is a novelist, journalist and broadcaster. Faber Finds is reissuing his four Peter Marlow spy thrillers - The Private Sector, The Sixth Directorate, The Valley of the Fox and The Flowers of the Forest. As a writer of spy thrillers, Joseph Hone has been compared favourably with the likes of Eric Ambler, Len Deighton and John le Carre.His most recent book, Wicked Little Joe, is a memoir published by Lilliput Press

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 553 KB
  • Print Length: 350 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0571255213
  • Publisher: Faber Finds (19 Jun 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00IQY44QI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #465,947 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfectly honed spy story 19 Aug 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Impatient readers, read a Robert Ludlum thriller instead. Joseph Hone is a slow burn. It takes a full 80 pages (I counted them) for something to actually happen in this book. The writer spends the rest of it building up atmosphere, characterisation and background, layers and layers of it, until you are in an Egypt you can actually feel... Then the story kicks in - Marlow is sent from London to pick up a rogue agent, Edwards, who may or may not have gone over to the KGB. Oh yes, and Israel is about to kick off the Six Day War and there is a traitor in Holborn Control. Hone's equisite writing is a revelation to afficionados of the spy genre. He's like Graham Greene, Ford Madox Ford and John Le Carre rolled into one. Once you've got the taste for him, there's nothing quite like it. The fact that he is out of print is both inexplicable and a shocking crime. Read and enjoy
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, One of the Best Espionage Novels Out There 4 Sep 2010
By Jim - Published on
I read this years ago. Loved it. Stayed with me. Part of the Collier "Spy Master Series". Joseph Hone is an accomplished author and editor worthy of note. This review applies to both the print novel and audible edition. This is a fantastic gritty and realistic espionage genre novel if you can find it. Fortunately and deservedly some of his works are being re-released. A must read on a short list of espionage novels. Note not all his novels are "espionage". Many are. Some are out of print and worth search for. "Goodbye Again" is more of a political mystery thriller for example. Not quite what most people expect, but top flight for realism. Have read most all espionage novels out there. LeCarre, McCarry (a favorite) (read The Last Supper and Lucky Bastard are my favorites by McCarry - the two being quite different. See my reviews under old email/user), Graham Greene, Wm. Hood, and so on. Ambler is of course a favorite. Joseph Hone is up there at the top. Not all of his novels are of the same caliber of the Private Sector, some are more pulpy but I don't think this is. All are worth reading and enjoyable. But some are more profound for the genera. This is one. But I would still recommend reading all of his that you can still find. I enjoyed them all. Much better than the contemporary stuff. I think I have read them all by Hone, but if I ever find a Joseph Hone book I haven't read, I would jump on it. This one is very British (lower grade somewhat naive Irish civil servant pulled into service as a pawn and caught up in (his country's version of) the "wilderness of mirrors" gets an education during the Suez crisis. Yes it is dated but check out the period for a great espionage piece. Things not (nothing is) as they seem, who can be trusted on one's own side, who is the enemy, even friends and lovers are not what they seem, bad judgement by management (did they miss the clues, miss a mole and blow it), how can one know accurately what is really going on (how do we know what we know paradox), cynical reality in the field, your on your own in this mess. I read the book long ago and it is worth reading again, more than once. Still have it. One of those novels you prize and keep in a special place. Have listened to the Audible version recently as well and it was quite good also. Well narrated, good selection in narrator for this piece and genera. A different experience, well and appropriately narrated. So you can benefit from both with a little space-time in between. Appreciated reading it first for the imagery, set up, dialogue, subtlety and nuance, period setting, "office politics" and cynical reality in that wilderness of mirrors, and realistic trade craft, though less conventional in its presentation sort of a back drop which I think adds not detracts from the novel. Look at the paperback from cover with the pyramid - that was designed so long ago. This is in my top 5 or 10 of espionage novels of all time. Great period setting. Still relevant to current events today. Good background to the current conflagration in the Middle East. Just an aside - I found out years latter back when I was a young para in the going though the throes of alert and (tentative) deployment to the 1973 "Yom Kippur" war in the Middle East as the Russians were also setting up deploying their paratroops, while Dr. Kissinger was doing his personal back channel shuttle diplomacy (for which one of the top level CIA CI heads wanted him investigated as a potential Soviet agent/mole, the guy that was the key CIA Mideast Desk analyst/expert with a top level security clearance, likely 'go to guy' for the President on the area, in a crisis like what was happening at the time, was doing the common D.C. wife swapping party circuit, smoking dope and taking psychotropics (read LSD, etc.) frequently, managed to hang on to his security clearance, and mysteriously had a sailboat full of a huge amount of highly sophisticated radio equipment when his body ended up being found floating in the Potomac not far away. Some speculated that it appeared he may have been a double working for the other side and one side or the other whacked him to stop his ex-filtration or due to having exceeded his practical usefulness. See the book "WIDOWS: FOUR AMERICAN SPIES,THE WIVES THEY LEFT BEHIND, AND THE KGB'S CRIPPLING OF AMERICAN INTELLIGENCE (1989)", by William R.; Treto, Susan B. and Trento, Joseph J. Corson (1989). Also a great read.

The Private Sector is carefully set up. Charles McCarry is quoted as saying 'Fast, sophisticated, splendidly authentic, Joseph Hone writes like an angel about devil's work.' This is a very nuanced and subtle novel with a lot of careful setup, dimensions, moods, reflection and introspection, period and political insights, and espionage "office politics" similar (but quite different) to le Carré's "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy". A good level of espionage detail which of course is necessary and important, but without being overwhelming. It builds, entwines, and snares. I recommend his others. Particularly "Flowers of the Forest". See also "The Sixth Directorate", "The Oxford Gambit", and "The Valley of the Fox". All by Hone. There are others. When ever you see an old paperback that is part of the Collier "Spy Master Series", many long out of print, give it healthy respect and consideration. Many of those by various authors are top flight Cold War and WWII espionage novels. Collier editors did a great service to its readership to present the best of the espionage genera of this period circa 1950's and 1960's at the height of the Cold War to its readers. (I have expanded and updated this review - Aug 2014.)
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific characters, prose, and atmosphere 14 Nov 2013
By Jim Nielson - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Absurdly literate spy novel. Practically makes Deighton or even Le Carre look like pulp fiction. More like Conrad or something. No gunplay, gadgets, or honeypots, but a wonderfully mordant voice captures postcolonial Egypt and one very human hero's navigation of tricky waters, with terrific atmosphere and incessant convoluted, drily or preposterously turned periods. A very high level of trashy reading here - serious literature in a spy disguise. Very worldweary British. Fans of Deighton, Le Carre, Graham Greene, and so forth should find this an unexpected and delectable side alley.
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