Charlie Muffin, an endearing spy, irritates his new boss and co-workers because of his appearance and age, but that doesn't stop them from taking the credit for his accomplishments. But Charlie perseveres and proves to be right over and over again in this story of the capture of a KGB general who is running a spy network in England.
Hayward Morse ably creates voices for each of the many characters, using a variety of convincing accents, though once in a while he doesn't shift to the correct voice. He is especially effective in his timing and makes the humor of certain situations evident. Through all the plot twists, there is never any hint of the surprising outcome.
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The story seemed stilted and drawn out at times but, in hindsight, I want to blame the narrator. His monotone reading made the story drag at times. And his choice of voice for the main character, Charlie M., was particularly bad. Might have been OK for a minor character with just a few lines, but it was quite grating for a voice that (obviously) was featured prominently throughout the novel. That said, the story itself is quite good. The twist at the end was not the twist I was expecting. Will give the author another try, hopefully with a different narrator next time.
I love books!
First time author. A shorter novel, British author Brian Freemantle creates a different kind of protagonist, a scruffy, middle aged British spy whose bosses want to put out to pasture or worse. Set in various spots around Europe during the Cold War, the Brits and Americans work to get a KGB general who wants to defect, safely to the west. Charlie's bosses put him front and center in the effort. But they make a key mistake, he knows what he's doing. This is the first book in the Charlie Muffin series. I will for sure give book #2 a try.
I enjoyed this book so much that I am listening to it again only weeks after downloading it! Charlie is the most lovable of spies. With a grammar school education and slovenly appearance, he gets up the noses of his ex- public school colleagues and superiors.
It is brilliantly read, but by whom? Napoleon Ryan or as stated in the publisher’s summary Hayward Morse.
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