Tuesday, April 23, 2013

OLD FLAMES - John Lawton

This is the second 'Troy' I've read and I am ruing the fact that I have started them out of order as there are recurring characters and I knew what happened to several in this book as I had come across them before but anyway this is a great spy novel.

It starts with the discovery of a divers body that is believed to have been spying on a Russian ship in an English Harbour (loosely based on Buster Crabbe), Troy is brought in by the deceased diver's wife to prove that he is still alive.

From this the story branches out into international politics, corrupt Special Branch officers with Russian, American and UK Spies. Again lots of violence, the attention to detail by Lawton is stunning. He goes to the effort of describing what a railway workers voice sounds like even though the character has three words in the entire book.

Cover blurbs compare Lawton to Le Carre, I wouldn't say he was Le Carre's equal or close if you compare this book with the Smiley trilogy but he's very very good and I'm amazed he's not a top seller. Lawton is so much better than 95% of what are described as top thriller writers. 

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