Rex Upsdale is a spent, washed-out spy writer.
His trade has worn him down to the bone, and he sits alone, rejected and punch-drunk and full of self-pity. Reality and fiction have become mixed in his mind.
In increasing financial trouble, he is offered some semblance of security if he will take on just one journalistic assignment behind the Iron Curtain.
All that’s required is an interview with Kit Styles, the most notorious of all defectors from West to East.
But it’s not as straightforward as he thinks.
He hasn’t reckoned with the eternally incompetent and feckless Boysie Oakes; his puppet master, Mostyn; a neatly curved companion, Miss Hester Havisham; exploits, escapes and escapades in a tank and a helicopter and an outrageous group calling themselves the International Travelling Circus.
And if he is not careful, the Traitor's Exit might also be his own.
John Gardner, whose Boysie Oakes has become required reading for spy lovers since he first appeared in ‘The Liquidator’, has written a tale that’s part satire, part farce, always zany and certainly not for those who take their spy fiction too seriously.
'Cool polished story-telling with all the sexy sidelines in the best James Bond tradition' Evening Standard
Before coming an author of fiction in the early 1960’s John Gardner was variously a stage magician, a Royal Marine officer and a journalist. In all Gardner has fifty-four novels to his credit, including Maestro, which was the New York Times book of the year. He was also invited by Ian Fleming’s literary copyright holders to write a series of continuation James Bond novels, which proved to be so successful that instead of the contracted three books he went on to publish some fourteen titles, including Licence Renewed and Icebreaker. Having lived in the Republic of Ireland, the United States and the UK, John Gardner sadly died in August of 2007 having just completed his third novel in the Moriarty trilogy, Conan Doyle’s eponymous villain of the Sherlock Holmes series.
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