From his years serving in British Intelligence during the Cold War, to a career as a writer that took him from war-torn Cambodia to Beirut on the cusp of the 1982 Israeli invasion to Russia before and after the collapse of the Berlin Wall, John le Carré has always written from the heart of modern times. In this, his first memoir, le Carré is as funny as he is incisive, reading into the events he witnesses the same moral ambiguity with which he imbues his novels.
"A Global Literary Treasure"
An early classic of espionage fiction. Through the cafés, trains and nighttime cities of Europe, Charles Latimer follows a twisting trail of drug-smugglers, thieves and assassins that will lead him to Dimitrios.
"A most enjoyable history and geography lesson"
Arthur Simpson is a petty thief who is discovered stealing from a hotel room. His victim, however, turns out to be a criminal in a league well above his own and Simpson is blackmailed into smuggling arms into Turkey for use in a major jewel robbery. The Turkish police, however, discover the arms and he is further 'blackmailed' by them into spying on the 'gang' - or rot in a Turkish jail. However, agreeing to help brings even worse danger...
"Another solid book from Ambler"
It is 1940, and Mr Graham, a quietly-spoken engineer and arms expert, has just finished high-level talks with the Turkish government. And now somebody wants him dead. The previous night, three shots were fired at him as he stepped into his hotel room, so, terrified, he escapes in secret on a passenger steamer from Istanbul. As he journeys home he enters a nightmarish world where friend and foe are indistinguishable.
"A classic that continues to please."
Nicky Marlow needs a job. He’s engaged to be married and the employment market in Britain in 1937 is pretty slim. So when his fiancée points out the position with an English armaments manufacturer in Italy, he jumps at the chance. Soon after he arrives, however, he learns the sinister truth about his predecessor’s departure and finds himself courted by two agents with dangerously different agendas.
"The Original Spy Novel"
Kenton’s career as a journalist depends on his facility with languages, his knowledge of European politics and his quick judgement. Where his judgement sometimes fails him, however, is in his personal life. When he travels to Nuremberg to investigate a story about a top-level meeting of Nazi officials, he inadvertently finds himself on a train bound for Austria after a bad night of gambling. Stranded with no money, Kenton jumps at the chance to earn a fee helping a refugee smuggle securities across the border.
"Intelligent, fast-paced thriller"
Foster’s dramatic skill is well known in London’s West End theatres, so perhaps it wasn’t so surprising when he was hired by an American newspaper publisher to cover the trial of Yordan Delchev for treason. Accused of membership in the sinister Officer Corps Brotherhood and of masterminding a plot to assassinate his country’s leader, Delchev may in fact be a pawn and his trial all show.
"Worth the read just for the kangaroo court"
Widely recognized as the master of the historical spy novel, New York Times best-selling author Alan Furst takes listeners back to the early days of World War II for a dramatic novel of intrigue and suspense.
"Best Alan Furst novel!"
A debut novel in the vein of Greene and le Carré, A Dying Breed is a brilliant and gripping story of the politics of news reporting, intrigue and blood set between the dark halls of Whitehall, the shadowy corridors of the BBC and the perilous streets of Kabul, in the shadowy le Carré-esque world of foreign correspondents reporting from war zones around the world. Carver, an old BBC hack, is warned off a story when a bomb goes off, killing a local official in Kabul, but his instincts tell him something isn't quite right....
"A gripping story, I just could not put it away."
Duchlan Castle is a gloomy place in the Scottish Highlands. Late one night the body of Mary Gregor, sister of the laird, is found in the castle. She has been stabbed to death in her locked bedroom. The only tiny clue to the culprit is a silver fish's scale, left on the floor next to Mary's body. Inspector Dundas is dispatched to investigate. The Gregor family and their servants are quick to explain that Mary was a kind and charitable woman, but Dundas uncovers a more complex truth.
"Solid "Golden Age" Mystery"
It's not unusual for spies to have secrets, but Henry Hunter has more than most, and after he is stopped by British Intelligence at Croydon airport on the eve of the Second World War, he finds that he has even more. From Switzerland he embarks on a series of increasingly perilous missions into Nazi Germany, all while having to cope with different identities and competing spymasters.
"Great WWII Espionage Story."
Greg and Dorothy Nilsen had wanted to go on an adventurous trip. But the cruise they were on was turning out to be a bore. So when the gracious Mr. Tan requests that Greg take a side trip to Singapore to resolve a bureaucratic detail involving a consignment of small arms, Greg is surprisingly receptive. All he has to do is sign some papers, he’s told, and he’ll be paid a handsome fee. And everything does go smoothly, until it comes to getting a check co-signed by the rebel leader.....
"One of the Very Best"
France, July 1944: a month after the Allied landings in Normandy, and the liberation of Europe is under way. In the Pas-de-Calais, Nathalie Mercier, a young British Special Operations executive secret agent working with the French Resistance, disappears. In London, her husband, Owen Quinn, an officer with Royal Navy Intelligence, discovers the truth about her role in the Allies' sophisticated deception at the heart of D-Day.
"The Best Kind of Spy Story"
Over the course of his seemingly irreproachable life, Magnus Pym has been all things to all people: a devoted family man, a trusted colleague, a loyal friend - and the perfect spy. But in the wake of his estranged father's death, Magnus vanishes, and the British Secret Service is up in arms. Is it grief, or is the reason for his disappearance more sinister? And who is the mysterious man with the sad moustache who also seems to be looking for Magnus? In A Perfect Spy, John le Carré has crafted one of his crowning masterpieces.
"Remembrances of loyalties past"
Sir John Phillips, the Harley Street surgeon, and his beautiful nurse, Jane Harden, are almost too nervous to operate. The emergency case on the table before them is the Home Secretary - and they both have very good, personal reasons to wish him dead. Within hours he does die, although the operation itself was a complete success, and Chief Detective Inspector Alleyn must find out why....
Former bomber pilot George Carey becomes a lawyer and his first job with a Philadelphia firm looks tedious - he is asked to read through a large quantity of files to ensure nothing has been missed in an inheritance case where there is no traceable heir. His discoveries, however, lead to unforeseen adventures and real danger in post-war Greece.
"Hunting for an heir"
England, 1935. Physicist Henry Barstow is on holiday when he meets the mysterious Simon Groom, a representative for an armaments manufacturer. Groom invites the professor to Ixania, a small nation-state in Eastern Europe whose growing weapons program threatens to destabilize the region. Only after suffering a blow to the head - which muddles his brain into believing he is Conway Carruthers, international spy - does the mild-mannered physicist agree to visit Ixania.
"Modern literary spy novel owes Ambler everything"
When fifteen-year-old American Hailey Portman goes missing in Switzerland, her desperate parents seek the help of their neighbor, Finn Harrington, a seemingly quiet historian rumored to be a former spy. Sensing the story runs deeper than anyone yet knows, Finn reluctantly agrees to make some enquiries. He has little to go on other than his instincts, and his instincts have been wrong in the past - sometimes spectacularly wrong.
"Exciting New Author for Me"
Syria, 1970. Three years after the Six-Day War. Michael Howell is utterly apolitical and genetically programmed for survival, a Levantine of mixed origin with an Italian mistress and profitable business enterprises throughout the Middle East. Life is sweet for Howell until, one night in Damascus, he discovers that his factories have become the clandestine operations base for a fanatical terrorist organization dead set on destroying Israel. Suddenly, Howell is caught in the middle, with nowhere to run.
"Discovery of great new narrator!"
Peter Ackland is ordered to rest by his Doctor. He travels to Cornwall and is greeted by Henry Braddock at the door of a cottage below the 'skytip'. Braddock has a revolver in his pocket. Ackland also comes across Nathan Murrison and his valet, who divide their time between exploring the 'skytip' and propping up the bar of the Green Dragon; a charming young lady who, on behalf of a Member of Parliament, tries her hand at burglary; other less charming characters who try their hand at blackmail
Professor Krom believes Paul Firman, alias Oberholzer, is one of those criminals who keep a low profile and are just too clever to get caught. Firman, rich and somewhat shady, agrees to be interviewed in his villa on the French Riviera. But events take an unexpected turn and perhaps there is even someone else artfully hiding in the deep background?
It is the summer of 1976 in Oxfordshire, England, and someone is trying to kill Sally Gilmartin. The only person she can trust is her daughter, Ruth, a young single mother struggling with her own demons. Now Sally must tell her daughter the truth: She is actually Eva Delectorskaya, a Russian émigré recruited for the British Secret Service in 1939.
"Favorite Book of 2007"
Harry Bosch is California's newest private investigator. He doesn't advertise, he doesn't have an office, and he's picky about who he works for, but it doesn't matter. His chops from 30 years with the LAPD speak for themselves. Soon one of Southern California's biggest moguls comes calling. The reclusive billionaire has less than six months to live and a lifetime of regrets. He hires Bosch to find out whether he has an heir. Using all of his cold case skills, Bosch pieces together a 65-year-old mystery.
All in all Steve Fraser had enjoyed his three-year stint in the former Dutch Southeast Asian colony of Sunda, and he’d been well compensated. But now he was looking forward to a last weekend in the capital before heading home. But Sunda was newly independent, and not entirely stable. An opposition faction with fundamentalist Islamic leanings was set on overthrowing the provisional government. And instead of enjoying a sybaritic weekend with the Eurasian beauty Rosalie, Fraser finds himself trapped with her by a fanatical group....
"Interesting story but not Ambler's best"
©1980 Eric Ambler; (P)1982 Recorded Books, LLC
The story was gripping and the narrator was a splendid choice. I highly recommend this title.
"a good listen"
Plot strangely was not as strong as I would have thought but overall very good.
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