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The Double Game Hardcover – 1 Dec 2012

3.6 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Books (1 Dec. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857893378
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857893376
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 3.1 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,146,701 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

A tantalizing, timely thriller Washington Post A thought-provoking and exciting read Observer One of the best writers of intelligent thrillers based on contemporary events working today...observant, thoughtful, witty Baltimore Sun A new book by Dan Fesperman is becoming a major literary event ... an utterly compelling thriller and quite simply the best I've read all year. Sunday Telegraph Fesperman is the closest thing America has to John le Carre, a writer of great elegance and sophistication whose novels are as topical as they are compelling. Bookseller

About the Author

Dan Fesperman is a reporter for The Baltimore Sun and a published author of several thrillers. The plots were inspired by the author's own international assignments in countries such as Yugoslavia and Afghanistan.


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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I wonder what it would be like to read this book and NOT be well-versed in the genre. If you know your Deighton, Ambler, le Carre etc, and have also kept up with the real-life Philby / Angelton machinations and betrayals, there is much pleasure from recognising references to old friends, or even occasionally spotting them before the author/narrator explicitly tells you. But strip this away and you are left with a so-so thriller and one which appears to have been contrived specifically so that the author can show off the extent of his research.
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Format: Hardcover
On the strength of having enjoyed Fesperman's debut novel (Lie in the Dark), I decided to pick this new one up to see if should hunt down his backlist. But it's never a good sign when a book lingers on my nightstand once I've cracked it open, and this one lingered for several months, generally failing to draw me into picking it back up. About 3/4 of the way though, I almost set it aside for good, but then like a desperate weekender at the casino, I threw good money (time) after bad and plowed on until the bitter end. The book suffers from two major flaws to my mind. The first is that the protagonist elicits neither empathy nor interest from the reader -- I just never cared at all what happened to him. The second is that it's a book about books to a certain extent, and when those kind of metatextual frames don't work for me, they really flop hard.

The story follows a divorced, 50ish journalist who is drawn deeply into a web of Cold War-era secrets. Someone using passages (actually pages) from real-life spy thrillers has goaded him into retracing the stations of an old spy network in Vienna/Prague/Budapest/Berlin, one that may or may not be connected to a man who went on to become a bestselling author (kind of an American Le Carré), who himself might have been a spy himself back in the '60s, and possibly a double-agent working for the Soviets. It's all pretty convoluted, and about halfway through the book, there's a passage which gives a little summary, for those struggling to keep up: "I seem to be tracking an informational trail for some sort of courier network set up by [the author] back in the sixties, when he was an operative, on behalf of source code-named Dewey, who may or may not have been known to, or even used by, the KGB.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a fan of Fesperman having read all of his books so far.

Based on the son of a US diplomat who served in Europe during the Cold War, who then finds himself caught up in the spy games of days gone by - people; dead drops; codes, etc

Yet, whilst this is good in parts, it lacks the edge that other novels had. Good but not great.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is quite disappointing - I haven't actually finished it but doubt that I will.
The hero is a 53 year old PR man (ex-journalist) with some sort of a fixation on his father. When he was aged between 12 and I suppose 16 he read all the great spy thriller writers and now has total recall of names and incidents in the books. He is on the trail of a putative mole and clues are given in the form of excerpts from Ambler, Le Carre, etc. What it mainly reminds me of is Enid Blyton (5 go to Smuggler's Top and such like). As the hero's father has to remind him - it's not just a game where you play and then toddle off.
For a chap schooled in the duplicity of spies and the dangers of the craft he is amazinly naïve - obviously 53 going on 14!
I have enjoyed all the other Fesperman books I have read, so am particularly disappointed in this one.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Construcred in a conveluted way based on other published spy stories it completely fails as a book
The attempt to translate Washing to politics int central europe illustrate the failureof Us foreign policy to any creibility outside the United States
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A cross between Dan Brown and every other spy novel. The TImes said if you only read one spy novel this year it has to be this one. I hesitate to disagree with the Thunderer, I would say readable but only just.
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Format: Hardcover
"The Double Game" is a thrilling old-school espionage novel with roots stemming from other authors works of art. The storyline is sprinkled with famous names such as John le Carre, William Buckley and many others. The plot is intellectual and action driven and mirrors what the layman perceives as the work of real spies such as the CIA during the Cold War Era. It plays on the idea that a best-selling novelist was actually a CIA agent deeply embedded with the KGB of the time. With skillfully developed characters and a plot containing many twists and turns the author has adeptly switched back and forth in years and maintained an elevated sense of suspense, a real guessing game till the very last page.

Narrated in the first person by the protagonist, this smart and suspenseful story opens in 1984 with young journalist Bill Cage interviewing American espionage agent turned novelist Edwin Lemaster. His revelations will soon prove to be the catalyst and the end of Bill's career.

We jump in time to two decades later, when Bill is working in public relations spinning stories for his clients. One day out of the blue he receives an anonymous letter encouraging him to follow up on the 1984 allegations behind Lemaster's disclosure. This enticing and strange note is full of cryptic references to some of Bill's favourite spy novels and proves to be the first of many literary bread crumbs that eventually has Bill travelling to Vienna, Prague and Budapest. Deciphering each instruction is a maze of information, an adventure through spy novels that brings him closer to the truth.....

This story develops and is presented in a different manner it quickly draws you into the world of espionage by bringing back memories and the adrenaline rush created by classic spy novels.
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