• Friends and Traitors

  • An Inspector Troy Novel
  • By: John Lawton
  • Narrated by: Lewis Hancock
  • Length: 10 hrs and 58 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (133 ratings)

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Friends and Traitors

By: John Lawton
Narrated by: Lewis Hancock
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Publisher's Summary

The latest novel in a series regularly singled out for its exceptional quality features Inspector Troy of Scotland Yard in a tale of Cold War spy dealings centered around double agent Guy Burgess - a story of betrayal, espionage, and the dangers of love.

London, 1958. Chief Superintendent Frederick Troy of Scotland Yard, newly promoted after good service during Nikita Khrushchev's visit to Britain, is not looking forward to a European trip with his older brother, Rod. Rod has decided to take his entire family on the "grand tour" for his 51st birthday: a whirlwind of restaurants, galleries, and concert halls from Paris to Florence to Vienna to Amsterdam. But Frederick Troy gets only as far as Vienna. It is there that he crosses paths with an old acquaintance, a man who always seems to be followed by trouble: British spy turned Soviet agent Guy Burgess.

Suffice it to say that Troy is more than surprised when Burgess, who has escaped from the bosom of Moscow for a quick visit to Vienna, tells him something extraordinary: "I want to come home." Troy knows this news will cause a ruckus in London - but even Troy doesn't expect an MI5 man to be gunned down as a result and Troy himself suspected of doing the deed.

As he fights to prove his innocence, Troy is haunted by more than just Burgess' past liaisons - there is a scandal that goes up to the highest ranks of Westminster, affecting spooks and politicians alike. And the stakes become all the higher for Troy when he reencounters a woman he first met in the Ritz hotel during a blackout - falling in love is a handicap when playing the game of spies.

©2017 John Lawton (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Friends and Traitors

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Espionage and more sexual escapades

There is a murder here but this is more about the espionage of Guy Burgess. And like so many of Lawton’s latest Inspector Troy novels the sex has become explicit and abundant, so much so that they read as much like romance novels for men as they do intelligent mysteries. It seems that every woman Troy meets is irresistibly beautiful and wants to have sex with him, and he unfailingly succumbs to temptation. And Lawton fills his characters’ minds and speech with extensive commentary on British history, culture, and politics. With so many distractions, the storyline of Friends and Traitors starts very slowly, but it does eventually become an interesting mystery. This could be a solid four-star novel, and the narration itself is outstanding, but there is only so much of the author’s sexual fantasies I care to read about. The earliest Troy books were the best, and I’m sorry to say that I am not disappointed to see this series ending.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Had to quit

Could not get much past Chapter 12. If you like crudity and lots of smarmy bits about homosexuals and other sex driven relationships in 1940 England, this is the book for you. Tone is too cute by half.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

As Always, Excellent

I have so enjoyed this series about Inspector Troy and his Wilderness series. I can hardly stand that there are no more to listen to that I feel crushed! The historical value is fantastic. Lovely to listen to. Lewis Hancock's take on the characters is incredible. Truly well done!

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Not up to usual standards

I was very disappointed in this book. I generally love the Inspector troy series, but I found this book to be vapid.

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A Magnificent But Raw Real Spy Story

While this is still in the realm of fiction, many of the persons in the story are historical figures involved in the Cambridge Five spy ring that was exposed beginning with Kim Philby in 1962. Lawton writes his characters convincingly, and with serious flaws and deviousness. Sexual encounters happen in non-romantic ways so if that is a turn-off for you as a reader stick to John le Carré novels.

At first I expected this was going to be just another pulp spy story but I got drawn in by Lawton's deft storytelling as he portrays British upper class figures in very realistic and believable ways - which are neither simply complimentary nor damning. The story kept me intrigued like few others have in the recent past.

The narration was perfect.

I score this 5 out of 5 and plan to read more of this author.

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Great Period Book

Really delved into the nitty-gritty of British culture just after World War I, and then just after World War II. the narrator was great. He was terrific about the different British accents, Scottish accent, didn't stumble over French or Russian words and phrases. for sure, I wished that I had had a little bit more background about his earlier books. I also felt that in the depiction of the times, the suffering of Ordinary People was totally ignored. This didn't really take away from the enjoyment of the mystery and intrigue.