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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 3 October 2015
Faith, the seventh book in Len Deighton's trilogy of trilogies, starts off the third trilogy with a littler bit of a whimper. Back again as the narrator after the different perspective in book six is British secret agent Bernard Samson, along with his love triangle and an attempt to secure the defection of a Russian computer security expert.

Though the latter nominally provides a drive for the plot in Faith, not that much happens for most of the book and the overall trilogy develops only a little.

Deighton continues his habit of throwing in new evidence about previous events, keeping his characters changing their perspectives on what really happened previously. In Faith he appears to stumble in doing this, as one of the new twists - about his wife Fiona's sister, Tessa - is one the reader knows is false given what we were told in the narrative of earlier books. I say "appears" as perhaps in the rest of the trilogy this apparent obvious false lead will be turned into a brilliant piece of misdirection, but by the end of the volume it seems instead just a weak twist that is either obviously untrue or, if true, a case of the author not playing fair by the readers by first presenting something as fact in the narrative (rather than in, say, the words uttered by a character) and then contradicting it.

What there is rather more of, and more successfully done, is the development of the characters, especially Sansom's dilemmas over how to untangle his life and, having followed many of characters through six previous books, this maintains the interest even as the espionage treads water - and, as ever, the German settings and moments of tension are so well done that it's easy to forgive a few frailties in the rest.
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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.

Once I l'd started I raced through the whole series!
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on 22 October 2017
Len Deighton at his very best, it has left me demanding more.
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on 3 October 2017
I took a while to follow up on the previous series of novels. This didn't prove to be an issue as the storyline quickly flowed allowing for a seamless link to the previous novels.
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on 15 December 2000
Seven books in to a nine-book sequence (10, if you count Winter), Deighton sustains your interest with more twists and one or two further startling revelations. Perhaps the series is a little tired by now, but the authentic feel marks him out above most of his contemporaries - he and le Carré stand alone in the genre - and his gift for deft characterisation is still well in evidence. Even average Deighton is better than most other espionage fare.
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VINE VOICEon 17 June 2013
After the rather lacklustre (in my view) Hook, Line and Sinker trilogy, Len Deighton comes out all guns blazing in "Faith" with a stunning return to the complexity and pace of the first trilogy. The plot is incredibly complex, but the story so well written that you read on breathlessly to follow the twists and turns. Of course you do wonder why Samson is the only competent agent in the whole of MI6, but the story is completely gripping and very enjoyable. I hope the final two in the series are as good.
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on 3 December 2012
This series of books from Deighton, covers an extended period and a complicated and twisting plot. They are best read in sequence, and evoke the period, and Berlin before the wall came down. A real pleasure, if you like your spy stories articulate and amusing,with a body here and there, and the hero bruised but not broken.
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on 1 October 2014
This is really about the whole bunch, including Winter, of which this is the last.I have just done a marathon re read in order. If you have read the lot, and I think you should if you like spy novels, then you will have realised that LD has been attempting to correct plot holes and cover inconsistencies for some time. This is not a huge criticism. Ten books! It would be inhuman to have really constructed a completely consistent plot covering ten books. The use of Samson's disingenuous narration allows for such corrections and is a very clever device. It gets harder though, I think he uses the Chandler device of a man with a gun bursting in at one point of desperation; and Mr & Mrs Prettyman's side story is a glory hole for screwing up the inconsistencies and dropping them into.

But these books shouldn't be overthought. He's written a cracking series of thrillers and they are very good. Sinker is the weak point, but they are all good solid thrillers to be enjoyed for what they are. It ain't Tolkein, he makes mistakes, so what.

Spoiler: Do not read on if you haven't read Spy Sinker

In all the corrections, reverse engineering and back plotting, I simply can't figure out why Fiona was in the car at the Brandenburg exit with Kennedy and Stinnes. The only possibility is that I can think of is that, in deep cover, she was forced to become involved in the drug smuggling. LD hasn't explained this one.
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on 20 February 2013
Loved all three books in this trilogy with a good story line that keeps you glued to the pages from start to finish. Great classic spy story
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on 13 May 2013
Reviewers of Len Deighton (LD)'s triple trilogy about MI-6 spy Bernard Samson (BS; 1983-1996) and his brilliant 1987 intermezzo "Winter", skate on thin ice. It is a 10-book series, with LD himself assuring readers that each book can be read separately. But a little too much said about any book or a summary, may prompt other readers, esp. in the US, to decry reviewers as `spoilers'.
LDs "Faith" is an energetic restart of a series that stalled with part 6, "Spy Sinker". Fiona, Bernard's wife, who defected to the DDR years ago but who was an MI-6 agent after all, finally returns home at a time when BS suffers setbacks and violence in that same country. Old and new readers will enjoy how BS tries to solve his many problems with wife Fiona, his beloved Gloria, his children, Tessa's widower George, coping with power-hungry Dicky Cruyer at MI-6 HQ and with the cloud he seems to still live under. And he faces more problems when the book progresses...

A key question is how credible these thousands of pages are/were, including this volume 7?
Why is BS still under a cloud? Why has MI-6 a Deputy DG who also runs a law firm and is rarely seen? Why is the sick, old DG, rarely at work, not replaced? Why is MI-6 doting so much on long-retired Silas Gaunt's judgment? And how can flaky Dicky Cruyer survive so long and still be on a promotion tract, gain support and admiration from newly-returned Fiona? Why can MI-6 decide to send BS on mission to the DDR yet again?

A very tense book, well-plotted and written in a beautiful style full of deep background and context. And with plenty of intriguing, unresolved issues, like rumblings heard at the foothills of a volcano... Two books to go!
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