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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on 28 July 2005
This, the first of Daniel Silva's novels, and certainly one of his best, is an outstanding read. I couldn't put it down. The plot is set during the latter part of WWII. Catherine Blake, a German spy living in London is trying to uncover the secrets of the allied invasion. She is getting dangerously close. And trying to thwart her at every corner is a counter-spy operation, spear-headed by Alfred Vicary. Various sub-plots are woven in along the way, not the least of which is the inter-office manipulating by devious members of the allied high command. The plot is both solid and full of surprises, and the climax very satisfying. The characters are wonderfully developed. At times I was reminded of Follet's "The Eye of the Needle", which is high praise in itself. Daniel Silva really dealt with the WWII setting wonderfully. It would be great to have another WWII spy story from him. I can wholeheartedly recommend this novel, and it is a great introduction to Daniel Silva's works, which must rate as some of the best espionage/suspense works today.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 13 June 2004
I have read this book three times and will probably read it a fourth time. Why? Because it is simply one of the best war / spy thrillers I have ever read. The story is fast moving, well-constructed, the characters are believable and because the story is based on real-life events (the war, D-Day, etc), you actually start to think that everything in the book really happened. Silva is a natural writer and nothing he writes annoys me which says a lot since I am the fussiest reader on the planet!! I highly recommend this book - I guarantee you won't regret it. Cancel your job, all appointments, forget about food, baths, sleep, feeding the dog....once you start reading this book, I guarantee you won't be able to put it down until the last page is over. I am now reading Silva's other books and loving every one!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 29 April 2000
Excellent, WW2 Britain-based thriller. Silva has a good, flowing style, with a plot that keeps you interested, though the older guy's navel-gazing in London at the start does tend to grate after a while. Exciting at the end though.
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on 10 December 2014
What a lot of apparently valid detail there is in this! It gives it verisimilitude in spades. The plot is very interesting, the suspense continual, the surprises many and the style very clear for the most part. A few words are missing, a few are malapropisms: 'careening' used instead of 'careering' on p72 and in at least one other place. On p82 we have 'simply learning how to parachute would have added months to Catherine's already interminable training.' Not so! Nothing like as much time! A week max; days more likely.
The detailed descriptions are unusual, very good and increase the suspense.
This is a truly great read.
Was 'the reality' as subtle as the ending suggests? Perhaps. It is a little far fetched, I think.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 25 August 2000
One of the best spy thrillers I've read recently. Intelligent, great character development, and hard to put down. And you get some WWII history along with it.
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on 16 April 2015
A thoroughly good read with a sustained plot with all the double crosses and paranoia that must have existed during the war. A few Americanisms slipped in, the doorman at the Savoy had a stove-pipe hat, the car stopped at the curb and perhaps worst Spurn Point was in Lincolnshire, not the East Riding of Yorkshire.
However, I loved the pace and like all of Silva's novels I ploughed on well into the evening wanting to know more.
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on 12 November 2013
Although one of Daniel Silva's earlier books and has a different storyline, the book is simply one of the best you could wish to read.
Twists and turns, the detail of locations, the whole scenario - it was great.
I bought it in tome for my October holiday in France. I started it on the Saturday evening - and barley spoke to any of the family until the Wednesday!

I thoroughly suggest that this book be bought!
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on 23 May 2012
This espionage novel was not as exciting as a good thriller should be and ought to have had an editor help reduce the amount of navel gazing that simply padded out the book in many places. Lacked pace but a worthwhile first effort. I would recommend Christopher Reich's The Runner or Robert Harris's Enigma instead.
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on 11 November 2014
The background information that is gained is very good. The author also recreates the WWII London atmosphere in a way that the reader is immersed in it. However, the main characters and the plot is not very deep. The book is also long at times with too much pointless action.
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on 22 June 2014
I am a fan of Daniel Silva and so was pleased to find out about this first novel. Set in WW2, a great spy story - well written and exciting, with tremendous period detail. Would recommend to anyone who likes John le Carre stories, if you don't already know Daniel Silva.
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