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on 6 June 2017
I've absolutely loved this series of books. Each one is a stand alone novel but worked well as a long story across the whole series. The plot develops throughout and is wrapped up right at the end of the series - it's brilliantly written with a perfect blend of intrigue, humour and thrills. The main characters are fabulous and their roles also progress throughout the books. I love espionage stories and this is the best series I have read. I think Bernhard Samson's character is fantastic - a true, typically understated British hero, going about his job despite the restrictions placed on him by the British intelligence establishment.

Well worth a read!!!
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The middle book of Len Deighton's Hook / Line / Sinker trilogy (which in turn is the middle of his three trilogies about MI6 man Bernard Samson during the Cold War), Spy Line is - like the others - supposedly a book you can read on its own and also - like the others - one that is really best read in sequence.

That's because a large part of the entertainment all through the series comes from the way in which Deighton keeps on returning to the same events from different perspectives, adding in new information and so new interpretations to events the reader would otherwise have long thought they understood for sure.

This time round, it isn't done as well as in the previous volumes and the cliffhanger which ends Spy Hook is rather quickly and somewhat unsatisfactorily resolved. However, it then picks up the tension and action, culminating in a macabre violent confrontation complete with man in a gorilla suit which gains its emotional impact from the development of the characters overs the five books which lead up to it. And it all nicely sets up the final book in the trilogy, Spy Sinker.

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 of the Benard Samson series.
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A worthy continuation of the Samson series of spy novels. I am looking forward to the remainder of the series
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on 9 September 2017
a jolly good read.
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on 7 April 2017
Usual Deighton fare that makes you wish you'd ordered all the books in the series from the outset!
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on 26 April 2017
Great
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As with each of the books in the preceding Game / Set / Match trilogy, Spy Hook - the first of the sequel Hook / Line / Sinker trilogy - is, we are told, a book that can be read on its own. That's only sort-of true.

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.
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on 23 January 2016
Read this series years ago, all 9 books and have re-read the stories over the years multiple times. Bernard Samson, the much maligned tough guy from the wrong side of the Berlin tracks, plods brilliantly through the Cod War bureaucracy and brandishes his pistol and fists and uses dry wit to top it off. Not high-tech, but t he best of a counterpoint to LeCarre's Smiley. If you love Cold War stories, you have to pick this historically accurate story. Checkpoint Charlie awaits!
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on 18 April 2013
Many issues converge in this brilliant spy novel, part 1 of a 2nd trilogy about MI-6 spy Bernard Samson(BS). It reconfirms Len Deighton (LD)'s awesome powers of plotting and portrayal. Readers should enjoy the first trilogy "Game, Set & Match"(GS&M) to make the most of this fourth book about BS. [But any of the nine (9) novels on his spying career can be read as stand-alone thrillers.]
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.
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on 14 August 2013
This is the 6th book of a 3 triolgy run of books, that is, it is the 6th book of 9, with each book standing on it's own or in relation to the other 8. They're all excellent. This is my second time of reading the stories of Bernard Samson spy, and his family and acquaintances. The first time in the 80s, the books fit together well and keep me continually page turning.
Len Deighton is an excellent author who researches his subject well
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