- Audio Cassette
- Publisher: Chivers Audio Books (Jan. 1993)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0745141021
- ISBN-13: 978-0745141022
- Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 16.6 x 3.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,939,064 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Spy Line: Complete & Unabridged
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‘Spy Line is vigorous and sleazy, psychologically complex and action-packed. It is always exciting’
‘This is vintage Deighton’
‘For sheer readability he has no peer’
‘No one can evoke the city of Berlin better than Deighton’ Sunday Telegraph
‘Deighton’s grip on the tensions of espionage grows ever tighter’ Mail on Sunday
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.
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Top Customer Reviews
The first trilogy had a cast of a dozen key persons. "Spy Hook" begins in 1987, three years after "GS&M" ended. It is book 1 in a new trilogy called "Hook, Line and Sinker". True fans meet up with some old characters and are introduced to new movers and shakers in BS' murky universe. And some things never change: BS's lazy, younger superior Dicky Cruyer still dumps most of his paperwork in BS's in-tray... But how has he fared, now aged 44, three years on, professionally and domestically, with two children, girlfriend Gloria (now 22), a wife who defected, and himself still under a cloud?
This is the most complex book of the series so far, with BS sent on missions to the US. In between he makes his regular trips to his beloved Berlin, where he grew up and where personal ties and concerns take up a lot of his time. This book is all about an alleged, huge sludge fund... Several people get killed in this book. But one person presumed dead in part 3 does the opposite and returns to the world of the living. When BSs life and work cannot possibly become messier, a second corpse comes to life again. Do not expect quick answers in trilogies, but enjoy superb, colorful writing about spies whose parents go back to WW II.
The genius of the rest of the trilogies about MI6 man Bernard Samson is the way plots are apparently wrapped up to give one book an ending, and then unpicked again when the story continues in the next book.
However, Spy Hook is the least plausible for solo reading as unlike the others the plot within it is not even apparently all wrapped up by the end. If you enjoy it, you'll most likely want to plunge on to Spy Line pretty quickly afterwards.
What's more the big question that gets opened up over who is really loyal and who is really a traitor comes with much more emotional punch if you've been reading the previous books and find some core elements of the story so far suddenly upended.
If, then, you read it the best way to enjoy it - in sequence - it's at its best. Even so it is rather slow for most of the book, with low key character development and relatively little happening on the espionage front for much of the book - until the big twist which follows Bernard Samson's attempts to track down a missing MI6 slush fund and which so nicely sets up the rest of the trilogy.
If you prefer audio books, by the way, you are in for a treat as once again James Lailey does a cracking job with his narration.
The characters of Bernie, Werner, Dicky and so on are developed from the earlier stories and one feels one knows them...however in the world of spies you never know who your friends are!
From about one third in I raced through the book to it's somewhat surprising ending which has me eager to read the next in the series. I would recommend this, even to people who have not read the first trilogy.