Mexico Set (Harper Books) Paperback – 29 Apr 2010
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Audio Download, Unabridged
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‘Deighton’s best… until the next’
‘The poet of the spy story’
‘A master of fictional espionage’
‘Deighton is back in his original milieu, the bleak spy world of betrayers and betrayed’
‘Deighton is a marvel… few authors writing in the rigorous and finite genre of spy fiction have mastered the craft as well as Deighton… Mexico Set is a pure tale, told by an author at the height of his power’
About the Author
Born in London, Len Deighton served in the RAF before graduating from the Royal College of Art (which recently elected him a Senior Fellow). While in New York City working as a magazine illustrator he began writing his first novel, The Ipcress File, which was published in 1962. He is now the author of more than thirty books of fiction and non-fiction. At present living in Europe, he has, over the years, lived with his family in ten different countries from Austria to Portugal.
Top customer reviews
Well worth a read!
That does, however, mean that Mexico Set will suffer slightly by comparison, for it isn't as tightly plotted and tense as its predecessor, taking often a much more gentle - if still very good - amble through the characters and the Mexico backdrop for much of the book.
What Deighton excels at all in this book as in others in the series is plotting that is like scratching away at an itch. Len Deighton keeps on having his characters coming back to ponder over the same events again and again, with the perspectives about who was telling the truth and who was being a traitor often changing as new evidence brings up new doubts over where the truth really lies.
He does that well in this volume - especially over whether or not Erich Stinnes is really a would-be KGB defector or is a plant. He also sets up more of the itches that the characters come back to scratch again and again in later volumes - and some of the subsequent twists are all the more satisfying for the reader - and key characters - having first been led up the garden path on key facts in the earlier books.
So enjoy reading this Sansom volume - but keep reading too in order to get the most enjoyment out of the plot (and if you've not got a great memory for the details of novels, read them in quick succession so you can really appreciate that itch scratching).
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.
Most of the characters first appeared in Berlin Game, the first of the trilogy which really should be read first, and as in all good fiction they appear to live and breathe in the room with us. Intelligent hokum of the first order. Highly recommended.
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