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Product of its time (and definitely showing its age)
on 14 April 2011
While written in 1967 and first read then, I found myself re-reading this book on vacation in 2011 and being pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable it still was.
While a lifelong Len Deighton fan, one has to accept this story of international espionage and sex clinics used for political ends located in Paris now definitely shows its age in parts. The use of passports to move between EU countries and worries over national security, pirate radio ships located outside the 3 mile zone, and some dialogue that could only reflect the heady socialism beliefs of the late 1960s all date the book.
However the basic story line is still classic Deighton, with the inevitable nameless lead UK agent seen from prior novels, a cast of international characters who fit easily alongside the many acidic lines of dialogue and cynical observations plus a plot of many twists and turns that keeps you guessing all the way.
Not his best but still a pleasure to re-read.