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4.6 out of 5 stars15
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 19 April 2002
This is the second book in a trilogy, a family saga about two families but with a difference. These two families are in the espionage game. John Gardner never fails to keep the suspense flowing and this series is no exception. The Railton family in Britain and the Farthing family in the United States are connected by marriage. Gardner introduced them to us in The Secret Generations and the saga continues to the next generation in The Secret Houses. The action takes place during World War II and the story focuses on two young family members, girl cousins, who disappeared in France where they were members of the OSS working with the French resistance. John Gardner always writes fast paced spy thrillers and this is as good as any.
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on 6 March 2012
John Gardner is sadly probably best known for his Bond books. If this is the only place you have encountered his writing, give yourself a real treat and tuck into this three course meal. In comparison his Bond books are fast food.

This second book covers the Second World War period and to be honest you do need a score card to keep track of all the participants, but frankly I prefer a book that demands and deserves my attention.

The language used and pictures conjured are all powerful. Treat yourself, but don't say I didn't warn you as you will be hooked.
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on 8 September 2011
Gardner's yarn creation is spellbindingly brilliant. I find it impossible to put even his longest works down for more than a short time. His interweaving of real history with vivid fiction is pretty well unsurpassed, and this is one of the very best examples of the master at work.
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on 24 August 2013
This one filled the gap for me in the three-book series. Amid the twists and turns of an extraordinary tale, happy coincidences were essential to the theme. A good read for all that and here and there more than a hint of fact in what otherwise was fiction--I hope!
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on 6 January 2016
This is the second book of John Gardner, I have read;having the same characters and family as the Lost Generation.
I really enjoyed everything following on from the second world war and leading us on to family events at Redhill, the family home.
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on 7 September 2014
This is the far superior sequel to The Secret Generations. It is another epic tale this time about the Railton family in the Second World War - the SOE, the OSS and Soviet and Allied intelligence, the beginnings of the Cold War. Gripping.
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on 19 December 2014
More than on a par with Le Carre
Twists galore to keep you hooked
More than a novel but also a potted history of the early days of SIS and CIA borne out of the second world war
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on 22 March 2016
Grabs attention from first to last pages. Well thought out plot and fascinating background material.
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on 2 January 2015
A good read a bit hard to keep up with all the twists and turns of the plots
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on 13 November 2015
Adequate secret service thriller
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