Not just a great spy novel, but a well-researched analysis of the relationship between Germany and Russia and their spies as WW II was looming — and until Hitler invaded Russia
This is the third novel I’ve read by William Boyd, who is one of the most-decorated writers of spy stories and thrillers of our time. I enjoyed two of his spy stories — “A Good Man in Africa” and “Waiting for Sunrise” rather more than this thriller, but it’s a great read.
I re-read this artfully crafted novel about a British MI-V’s adventures and love affairs because I was leading it for a book group. It survived three readings in all and I still kept finding lovely twists, along with an excellent historical account of how the US and Britain combatted Soviet propaganda by arranging to have left-wing authors who were also anti-Communist get published when the publishing houses and universities were so eager to promote pro-Communist material. It is funny, sad, and, being post-modern, it has a spectacular twist at the end.