Tag Archives: spy

Absolute Friends

I thought about Mundy a few days ago. He’s the main character in this spy novel by John le Carré. I was just doing some dishes and I wondered if Mundy would end up being lifelong friends with Sasha. It was like I knew Mundy. He just popped into my head like any real live person I’m acquainted with. It was weird. I’m weird. Continue reading

Charity

Wow! That was some serious stuff, man. The Bernard Samson epic is behind me and they were some great times. The ending was only okay, but that didn’t detract from the total experience. This was a masterful spy story, romance, and drama all wrapped in to one and I think any serious fan of the spy genre should undertake it if they have a few months to spend. Continue reading

Hope

What an epic this is. The Bernard Samson novels number 10 if you consider Winter, the only one not in a trilogy. Hope is the second to the last one, so I’m just about done. It’s been quite a ride, comparable to Game of Thrones as far as pure enjoyment goes. Continue reading

Faith

Faith returns to the first person perspective of main character Bernard Samson (last book, Spy Sinker). It’s the the first of the final trilogy and I’m reading them one right after the other – like one, big, thousand page book – so maybe you can quit bothering me and let me get on with it. Continue reading

Spy Sinker

Spy Sinker is the conclusion to the second trilogy of the Bernard Samson novels. It’s awesome. I have three more to go and I’m just launching in to them (the final trilogy is called Faith, Hope, and Charity). I’m making the final 1,000 pages my project for the next month and I’m fired up. This could impinge on the NBA Playoffs, but that’s cool. Continue reading

Spy Line

In smack-dab in the middle of this nine volume set and wondering where things are going to go. I’m also wondering who says “smack-dab” any more, and whether it should be hyphenated or not. Wouldn’t you know it, it was the middle of this book that provided the pivot point for this epic story, almost structurally in the middle. Continue reading

Spy Hook

I can’t get enough of Bernard Samson, Len Deighton’s beautifully constructed British spy person, so I’m embarking on the second trilogy (of three). I have a backlog of reading and I haven’t been doing much lately. Call it a reading slump. I was hoping this would shake some of the reading cobwebs free. Continue reading

London Match

If you like Cold War British spy thrillers with some romance and character study mixed in, Deighton could be your most reliable option. He doesn’t publish any more, but you should seek him out. I’m always trolling used book stores for his stuff. Continue reading

Mexico Set

This is the second book in the game, set, and match trilogy by Len Deighton, which is the first trilogy of the nine-volume Bernard Samson series. It’s classic, Cold War, British spy stuff. It’s a big undertaking and it’s going to take me a while to get through this, but I’m savoring it.

This book picks right up at the end of Berlin Game. Samson is dealing with the aftermath of his wife’s defection to Moscow, juggling job stress and family stress. His work task: get a high ranking KGB man to defect right out from under his wife’s nose. His personal task: find a way to take care of his two kids and protect them from his wife while warding off advances from two beautiful women.

It’s a great mix of spy craft and drama. So far it feels a little simpler and lighter than Le Carre’s Smiley series, but has comparable character development. There’s a lot of detail on Samson and I think he’s a little more approachable than Smiley. I’ll be able to talk more about this after reading Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (targeting late June).

**  PLOT KILLERS FOLLOW  **

Samson proved highly fallible in this book, almost ruining certain scenes. Twice he was duped by an attractive woman; in both cases I knew as soon as the women entered the scene. I felt kind of let down by the ease with which he was taken in. It’s a theme though that runs through Samson’s character, he is constantly confronted with women he can’t read correctly.

It adds an interesting dimension to Samson and makes the books a lot of fun. Deighton couldn’t pull it off though if he didn’t build some solid intrigue, which he does very well. The tension around who’s on who’s side in this game of spies doesn’t take a back seat to anything, all of the other fun stuff is just icing on the cake. The ending is packed with double crosses and epic spy stuff, truly unique batch of trickery played by all sides of the game. Awesome.

I have London Match queued up, which I purchased via Abe Books (like this one). I don’t think I’ll be able to hold off much past the end of summer. By the way, Abe Books is awesome for old books – cheap and reliable.