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4.5 out of 5 stars
London Match (Samson)
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 9 October 2011
I'm not usually a fan of spy novels. I recently read the Game, Set & Match trilogy. I got through them all quickly, and thought they were all excellent, I think "London" probably the best. Deighton's writing is absorbing, and although some of the plot twists are a little unrealistic, I was able to overlook this, as the quality of the writing kept me interested. Highly recommended.
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London Match is the final book in the first of three trilogies (i.e. the third book out of a set of nine) which Len Deighton wrote featuring flawed MI6 man Bernard Samson.

As with the previous two books in the trilogy set during the Cold War of the 1980s, what keeps the plot going is not a long sequence of new events and shocks, but rather extra pieces of information which make Samson (and the reader) go back and doubt what they thought about previous events. It's a constant niggling away at the same key questions, again and again - and a technique that adds a nice touch of doubt and paranoia as the frequency with which 'settled' questions of who is genuine and who is lying are reopened means you can never quite be sure what the truth is.

London Match rounds off the Game / Set / Match trilogy with all the main plot ends (apparently) resolved. Part of the genius of the sequel trilogy - Hook / Line / Sinker - is the way it manages subsequently to go back over some of the key issues from this first trilogy, reopening them and leaving characters (and the reader) regularly doubting where the truth lies. To set up future books so well whilst still giving readers who stop at this point a satisfying conclusion is rarely done, and Deighton deserves praise for his skill in being an exception.

If you’re looking for a printed version of the book, I rather prefer the 1980s paperback versions with their fruit-based covers for the Game / Set / Match trilogy to the cover artwork of the 21st century reissues. If you like audio books, then once again James Lailey does a cracking job which makes the audio version really enjoyable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 27 December 2012
I have read a lot of Len Deighton's book and enjoy the combination of an excellent spy thriller in what is n ow a historical conext. Thoroughly recomended.
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on 20 June 2014
I had very much enjoyed the first two books in this trilogy, but this one, having run along fairly well to begin with, seemed to lose its way a little. The pillow talk between our hero and his new young girlfriend seemed wholly out of character and the ending seemed a little chaotic and somehow out of kilter with the test of the tale.

It was still a good read though and I am looking forward to reading the next six.
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on 30 May 2013
Expected it to be good, and it really lives up to that expectation, but then, as somebody who has read the preceding novels in the series, I KNEW it would be good.

Technology, politics, and Geography have all moved on a pace since the Cold War era the storyline portrays, but it doesn't adversely affect what a good read it is. Will be buying the complete triple trilogy, I fancy......
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on 14 March 2013
Len Deighton is a brilliant story teller. London Match did not disappoint. Now reading the next trilogy, Hook, Line and Sinker. Will Bernie Samson, (the principal character), finally get to the bottom of his wife's defection? Who else is involved? Or is the whole thing an elaborate conspiracy by London Central? No doubt all will be revealed in the fullness of time.
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on 14 March 2013
As with (Berlin) Game and (Mexico) Set, the books would have benefitted from a map or two.

Saying that Len Deighton presents locational detail well and the historical settings and references work OK given that fortunately he avoids technical details which can age a work to the detriment of the readers enjoyment.
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on 21 June 2014
It was a delight to read a well constructed novel which built on the previous two in the series to give a well rounded picture of the cold war in the 1980s. Len Deighton is a writer absolutely on top of his subject who can craft a tale, build a credible cast list and tie up every end with a professional flourish.
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on 8 September 2013
A friend suggested I get these books for my husband to read on holiday so now I find myself writing this review for him as he is too absorbed in the Hook, Line and Sinker books now! Never known him to read so much unless it is to do with work so I am really pleased.
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on 26 February 2015
... the next trilogy more than enough ambiguity. Mr D manages to depict the undercurrents and ambiguities as prominently as bold action, by allowing the reader's dialogue with the characters to inform their understanding. Genius!
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