The middle book of Len Deighton’s Hook / Line / Sinker trilogy (which in turn is the middle of his three trilogies about MI6 man Bernard Samson during the Cold War), Spy Line is – like the others – supposedly a book you can read on its own and also – like the others – one that is really best read in sequence.
That’s because a large part of the entertainment all through the series comes from the way in which Deighton keeps on returning to the same events from different perspectives, adding in new information and so new interpretations to events the reader would otherwise have long thought they understood for sure.
This time round, it isn’t done as well as in the previous volumes and the cliffhanger which ends Spy Hook is rather quickly and somewhat unsatisfactorily resolved. However, it then picks up the tension and action, culminating in a macabre violent confrontation complete with man in a gorilla suit which gains its emotional impact from the development of the characters overs the five books which lead up to it. And it all nicely sets up the final book in the trilogy, Spy Sinker.
If you prefer audio books, by the way, you are in for a treat as once again James Lailey does a cracking job with his narration of the Benard Samson series.
If you like this, you might also be interested in The Defection of AJ Lewinter.
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