The Whitehall Mandarin Paperback – 15 May 2014
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The thinking person s John Le Carré --Tribune
His annual political-spy thriller is now as much of a must-read as the annual Dick Francis in his heyday ... It is a good yarn, with lots of twists, accurate depictions of MI6 officers, and a real sense of Berlin and London at the time. It is as good a spy thriller as will be published this year ... intellectually commanding, but also has a mordant wit and poignancy --Independent
A glorious, seething broth of historical fact and old-fashioned spy story --The Times --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Born in Baltimore and now based in Suffolk, Edward Wilson is a highly acclaimed writer whose novels focus on espionage and the Cold War. Winning praise from the TLS as well as the Mail on Sunday, Wilson is a master of ambiguity who creates likable villains and detestable heroes. He uses his background as a scholar, soldier, and cosmopolitan expatriate to create authentic settings and verifiable plots. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
The Whitehall Mandarin by Edward Wilson is a brilliant old fashioned sprinkled with historical facts, spy story. This is a classic spy story in the mould of John Le Carre rather than Ian Fleming, multi layered rather than flash bang wallop. William Catesby the hero of our story may not be James Bond but he is as efficient as Bond’s Walther PPK.
William Catesby has risen from being a working class boy through Cambridge to becoming a ranking member of Her Majesty’s Secret Intelligent Service or for us peasants better known as Mi6. His knowledge and experiences are all Cold War based having worked out of Berlin as a Cultural Attaché. He is brought back to London to help catch an American double agent and long time colleague in Jeffers Caudwell, a man of many contradictions as the story evolves.
Lady Somers is rich and powerful and more importantly she is the first female Permanent under Secretary to head up the Ministry of Defence. Catesby is sent to find out her back story and bury it so deep it will never surface again. What we get is a fantastic tour of London Sex Scandals of the 60s, crossed with the ineptness of the CIA the downfall of Ministers and daft wars. We see the intelligence agency at times acting like kids in the playground not wanting to share their toys even with their friends or simply not trusting each other.
He is sent to Vietnam to find Miranda, Lady Somers daughter to make things harder she is working with Viet Cong rather than on the American’s side. Somehow he has to get from the American side of Vietnam to the other side and the risk of death very high. He has to place his life in the hands of people you wouldn’t ask you to help you across the road.Read more ›
The fact that the 'hero' was employed in the first place is pretty lucky with his background of Marxist friends, but, since it is true that MI5 and MI6 were plagued around these times because of these type of employments, you would be forgiven if you wondered about his credentials and what Peter Wright would have made of him. I won't mention his hypocrisy towards a fellow officer with his own background.
Perhaps my 5 stars indicate a diametrically opposed viewpoint?
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and can't wait for his next one.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book was so disappointing that I couldn't be bothered finishing it. The characters were poorly developed and the story line was too ethereal.Published 4 days ago by Nialler
I Lost interest in it . This seemed somehow a well crafted cliche of the genrePublished 26 days ago by Mr. G. M. Roebuck
I did quite enjoy this novel, though I did find some of the corridors that it wandered down difficult to comprehend. Read morePublished 1 month ago by bibliophile
It gets favourably compared with Le Carre, Furst, & Ambler and in parts it does stand up - but it also has passages which are totally unbelievable, Alice in... Read more
This book is definitely not worth the effort to read, it’s just not interesting.Published 5 months ago by Stuart Caverly
Terrible. Starts well then quickly falls apart. Having filleted a few real life spy stories by time we get to Vietenam he's just writing up his research of the period with a few... Read morePublished 6 months ago by CMickell