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1. Funeral in Berlin
2. Billion Dollar Brain
3. Bomber: Events Relating to the
4. The Ipcress File
5. Len Deighton: Three Complete Novels-
6. Charity
7. Spy Hook (MM to TR Promotion)
8. Spy: Hook Line and Sinker
9. Winter (MM to TR Promotion)
10. Faith
11. Catch a Falling Spy
12. Spy Line
13. Mexico Set (MM to TR Promotion)
14. Hope
15. Spy Sinker
16. Berlin Game (Panther Books)
17. Yesterday's Spy
18. Horse Under Water
19. An Expensive Place to Die
20. Goodbye Mickey Mouse

1. Funeral in Berlin
by Len Deighton
Paperback: 320 Pages (2001-04-17)
list price: US$10.35 -- used & new: US$18.48
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0007115237
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Len Deighton's third novel has become a classic, as compelling and suspenseful now as when it first exploded on to the bestseller lists.

In Berlin, where neither side of the wall is safe, Colonel Stok of Red Army Security is prepared to sell an important Russian scientist to the West - for a price. British intelligence are willing to pay, providing their own top secret agent is in Berlin to act as go-between. But it soon becomes apparent that behind the facade of an elaborate mock funeral lies a game of deadly manoeuvres and ruthless tactics. A game in which the blood-stained legacy of Nazi Germany is enmeshed in the intricate moves of cold war espionage ... ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Ripping Good Read
No one masters relevant details like Len Deighton.The characters are developed and the plot a mystery -- an excellent combination.The only flaw I see is the odd time or two when I had difficulty following the developments.I am and have been a fan for years and am pleased so much of his work is available for the Kindle.

5-0 out of 5 stars More enjoyable spy procedural from a master
Okay, I'm a huge fan of Deighton's.I'm predisposed to enjoy his intelligent mix of spy procedural plotting, the occasional apt aphorism and his descriptive metaphors setting the scene of each new location into which his man walks.But this was quite good in plot, definitely better than An Expensive Place to Die, the plot of which I never quite bought.

It was curious to read this back after having first seen the movie.The makers of the three Harry Palmer films changed the plots significantly from those of all three books, so, if, like me, you thought the film of Funeral in Berlin was somewhat lackluster, don't be afraid to pick up the book.I'd say the same of Billion Dollar Brain.Only in The Ipcress File did they vary the plot from that of the book and tell as interesting a story in a different way.

4-0 out of 5 stars good book (the movie is even better) but
on the second reading I found it quite annoying that Deighton is constantly playing some strange game:

1. Colonel Stok is at least 65 years old (the action takes place in 1963 and he participated in the Russian revolution in 1917 as an adult). It is a big stretch to believe that there are some colonels that are that old but it is impossible to believe that he will wear a corporal uniform to hide his position or that he was a captain in 1945. His name is intentionally mangled and his last name is anything but Russian.

2. Jewish girl is thinking about how special is it to visit her mother on Christmas.

3. French are eager to execute a Communist FTP member for war-time assassination of a collaborator. The whole thing seems quite ridiculous in addition to that in 1963 Commies were one of the biggest political parties in France and would be able to protect some of their own on this matter.

4. The whole 15 years long extremely dangerous affair was going to net just a few millions?????

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I ever read!
This was the second Len Deighton I read and words escape me as to how I felt about it. The suspense started on the first page and carried through the entire book, with virtually no lapses in the storyline. The characters were extremely interesting and well developed...I could almost picture them as real people in post-war Berlin. I rank this book alongside "The Spy Who Came in From the Cold" and the Smiley trilogy, both by John LeCarre. I highly recommend this book to anyone that enjoys a good read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Anything by Deighton
I will read anything by Len Deighton and did so this past summer.7 books in all.
This was one of the best and I am still thinking about it months later.
His sense of style and turn of phrase includeds all the elements that make a fine writer. ... Read more

2. Billion Dollar Brain
by Len Deighton
Paperback: 496 Pages (1987-02-19)

Isbn: 0586073957
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The fourth of Deighton’s novels to be narrated by the unnamed employee of WOOC(P) is the thrilling story of an anti-communist espionage network owned by a Texan billionaire, General Midwinter, run from a vast computer complex known as the Brain. After having been recruited by Harvey Newbegin, the narrator travels from the bone-freezing winter of Helsinki, Riga and Leningrad, to the stifling heat of Texas, and soon finds himself tangling with enemies on both sides of the Iron Curtain. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars A planned invasion of Latvia in the 1970s
W.O.O.C.(P) is a discretely-located spying agency of the British Ministry of Defence, headed by a Mr. Dawlish. In "Spy Story" he is the owner of a pre-WW II car, in this book an expert on garden weeds. Its premises in Charlotte Street encompass floor after floor of ostensibly unattractive or failing businesses, behind whose doors the agency works, with the Dispatch Section always booming with brass band music. Dawlish is the only staff member with an office with two windows.
A nameless but likable spy tells his story in the I form. He is sent by Dawlish to Scandinavia to find out more about alleged rumours that could be detrimental to the UK, the US, the Soviet Union, even to world peace. His brief: "Find out more. If possible, infiltrate!" His tour includes Helsinki, Leningrad, Riga, New York and San Antonio, Texas. There he is introduced to the Billion Dollar Brain, a series of mainframe computers purported to have been programmed to prevent human error in intelligence operations. The Brain is owned not by the US government, but by a right-wing organisation headed by a naturalised, former Latvian general. If the planned operation targeting Latvia is successful, rows and rows of other primed and linked mainframes will take on the rest of the Soviet Union...
The (somewhat implausible) plot is nevertheless great, and so are the characters and dialogues. KGB Colonel Stok (who earlier appeared in "Spy Story") catches the nameless hero in the Soviet Union, but realizes he needs him to stay alive to find out more and sends him home. But not before proving his admiration for the British WW II war effort by reciting at length from his favourite writer in English, the 18th-century Scottish poet Robert Burns. The enigmatic, extravert Finnish girl Signe, her American lover Harvey and the spy himself are interesting characters too. Descriptions of the different venues are also authentic.
Len Deighton is also a renowned war historian. The terrible facts included in BDB about Latvian collaboration with Germany during WW II and its eagerness to play the role of executioner on its behalf, is most probably based on fact. Latvians, especially, should read and enjoy this book and provide comments.

5-0 out of 5 stars Much better than the movie
I saw the movie of the same title first and was disappointed by some of the plot.The book is much more intelligent than the somewhat predictable movie Ken Russell directed.

Signe Laine and Harvey Newbegin are both very memorable characters."Harry"'s interaction with Dawlish is fun, as always and the little portraits of other characters such as Harvey's wife and General Midwinter are insightful, too.It's a fun and intelligent read.

4-0 out of 5 stars great read
This novel is the follow through of Deighton's "The Ipcress File" and "Funeral in Berlin".A really good read that is good standalone but better if read chronologically.

5-0 out of 5 stars North by Northeast
The man with no name ("Harry Palmer" in the film versions) heads into global trouble in Helsinki, Leningrad, Riga, New York, San Antonio and London. His quary is a deluded, megalomanic nationalist who uses a giant computer and people in an attempt to free the Russian peole of their Soviet oppressors. Len Deighton takes us on a journey to the frozen north and across the pond to the US and back again on a rollercoaster journey filled with his brand of insight and deadpan humor levened with enough intrigue and disbelief to keep you hooked.

This novel is the follow through of Deighton's "The Ipcress File" and "Funeral in Berlin".

Readers either like or dislike the author's prose style and wry humor. Maybe you just need to be in the mood for it. Right now, I am and I like it. Great reading on a hot summer's day. ... Read more

3. Bomber: Events Relating to the Last Flight of an RAF Bomber Over Germany on the Night of June 31st, 1943
by Len Deighton
Mass Market Paperback: 563 Pages (1995)
list price: US$14.45 -- used & new: US$6.87
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0586045449
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Bomber follows the progress of an Allied air raid through a period of twenty-four hours in the summer of 1943.

It portrays all the participants in a terrifying drama, in the air and on,, the ground, in Britain and in Germany.

In its documentary style, it is unique. In itsemotional power, itis overwhelming.

Len Deighton has beenhugely acclaimed bothas a novelist and as anhistorian. In Bomber he has combined both talents to produce a masterpiece. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars Like No Other War Novel
Reading this novel is as close as most of us will ever come to attacking Germany in an RAF bomber.It's a time machine, but so much more than that -- it's an unsparing examination of humanity.The action is relentless and absorbing.When I first read "Bomber" some thirty years ago, I finished around three in the morning and couldn't get to sleep for at least another hour.Having experienced Deighton's vivid narrative, you'll be thankful it wasn't you who had to make the sacrifices demanded by those uncertain days.

4-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant techncial description of the war in the air
I read this book when it was first published in 1970 or '71; I think I bought it while still in college. I have read it several times since then - five or six times for sure; perhaps more - and still believe it to be one of the best written descriptions of World War Two aviation available. The technical detail and minutia is stunning in both its inherent complexity and the manner in which the author devolves it into easily understood terms. I include in this the presentations of what it was like to fly in these aircraft. In this aspect, I have to take exception with the reviewer who felt the comment about how different flying in a jet is from a Lancaster was unnecessary editorial. Having flown in three World War Two era bombers (B-17, B-24 and B-25), I can state it is very different from what most of us consider flying. Modern aircraft `punch' through the sire, effectively overcoming it by brute force. The aircraft of WW2 tended to `bob' in it, moving around like flotsam on the sea. In fact, a pilot of a Tiger Moth described it that way. Add to that shaking motion, air streaming in through a variety of planned/needed openings and having to maneuver through narrow spaces and around objects while wearing heavy clothing and you start to get the idea that it wasn't the clichéd "piece of cake."

And that was level flight without anyone shooting at you. Try to imagine being in one of these aircraft when it was in distress - burning, spinning out of control with centrifugal force preventing you from even getting to the narrow exit hatch. There were alot of reasons so many bomber crew died.

The basic story is a narrative from multiple points-of-view of a period of time before during and after a British bombing raid on a town in Germany. We are introduced to characters involved directly and peripherally with the Endeavour. We learn about the mission; how it is to be carried out and the preparations required to execute it and to counter it.The key twist in the story - be aware there are numerous smaller ones related to individual characters - is the bombing raid is misdirected. A `fortunes of war' occurrence leads to hundreds of aircraft dropping their bombs not on a large city, but on a small town miles and miles away. Think of a planned bombing raid on New York City instead being carried out on White Plains or an attack on London destroying Hemel Hempstead. As one might expect, the mission is not without casualties on both sides. The book closes with a coda of sorts describing subsequent histories of participants.

As stated, the story is brilliantly conceived and executed...unlike the mission. At the same time, there is some editorializing/propagandizing on the author's part. The archetypical anti-hero - a fixture in Deighton's writing - asks in the briefing what the target is. The briefing officer - after a surge of guilt - rattles about poison gas plants and munitions factories. This is mild slap at the British practice of nighttime area bombing - something that is still so politically incorrect in the UK that Bomber Command has yet to be honored with a memorial for their actions. One also has to deal with another of the author's penchants; namely depiction of what I'll call middle-management as marginally incompetent. Whether it is the Flight Lieutenant seeking promotion via politics or the Group Captain seeking to beat a peer at cricket, we are provided with the evidence of a betrayal similar to that done by British generals on the Western Front in World War One. And curiously, these types do not have counterparts in Germany.This is the price the reader pays with almost any Deighton book.

But, bear with these foibles and read the book.You'll learn a lot.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best book ever!
This is an amazing book.I am not even into war stories but this one kept me reading and I could not put it down.A must read for everyone.

5-0 out of 5 stars Len Deighton's masterpiece
This is LDs masterpiece, a fictionalised oral history about the British effort to bomb Germany into submission, as well as a minute by minute account of one bomber crew's last flight in 1943.
LD (b: 1929) read over 200 books on the subject and interviewed countless ex-bomber crew members and other participants. He also talked with surviving defenders, such as a legendary aristocratic German WWII pilot, a wizard in any type of airplane, who enjoyed talking to LD and provided him with plenty of formerly top-secret information.
"Bomber" fuses LD's three main strengths:(1)a burning interest in WWII, how it was conducted and won; (2) a life-long preoccupation with (advances in) modern technology;(3)the human factor, what prompts people to be or become heroes, how do they talk, think, dream?
LD shows contemporary readers that during WW II bombing enemy territory and returning back to base was infinitely more hazardous and difficult than today. Bomber aircraft and their fighter escorts had to fly low on their approach to hit their targets and faced fierce opposition from enemy fighter planes and ground artillery. When returning to base the same dangers applied, with the extra risk of running out of fuel...
Since WWII, technology has evolved. The highflying B-52, in service since the 1960s, cannot easily be hurt by enemy fighter planes or artillery. Modern bombers are invisible to radar and can fly from the US to Afghanistan or Iraq and back without interruption.
LD's warm and engaged description of a WWII bomber crew is a far cry from today's US-based specialist bombers, who drive to work their shift in a nearby Airforce base to direct an unmanned drone to kill a target by mouse click on the other half of the world. They will not be remembered in a warm and brilliant book such as this one.

5-0 out of 5 stars Prepare to be Amazed
How truly delighted I am to see another reviewer's reference to Kingsley Amis supposedly having considered this to be one of the ten best books of the 20th Century. To this accolade can be added Anthony Burgess's opinion of it being amongst the finest 99 books written in the English language since 1939. After that, anything I can contribute will be of little consequence I suspect. But this is a book like no other so I'm going to weigh in.

Five hundred pages, around one hundred characters and set within a single day and night, Deighton has pulled off an impossible feat. Further, I would boldly venture that this book should become the definitive work of reference about the British bombing campaign; the author, after all, claims to have read more than two hundred books in order to have written this one. On the one hand, the detail is mind-boggling in its rigour, whether it be the exact cost of a Lancaster bomber, the colour of the dashboard lights on a German night fighter or the arrangement of sewage pipes in a German town. On the other hand, the experience and reaction of ordinary townspeople to being bombed by seven hundred aircraft will surely never again be portrayed in all of its forensic horror like Deighton has done here. What makes Deighton unique, though, is his being a single voice in describing both sides of the story. It's probably impossible to remember all one hundred characters but one comes to care a great deal for almost all of them, whether British or German.

And so for me, above all else, this magnificent novel gave me startling new insights into my own qualities of compassion and humanity, ones that perhaps I didn't really expect to experience within the confines of a novel about a vicious and savage war. Maybe this is Len Deighton's supreme achievement, and if so it's no wonder that Amis and Burgess should have shown this novel such high regard. Either way, this is a work of staggering accomplishment, and not a little genius. Everyone should read it. ... Read more

4. The Ipcress File
by Len Deighton
Mass Market Paperback: 272 Pages (1995)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$7.11
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0586026193
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Len Deighton's classic first novel, whose protagonist is a nameless spy -- later christened Harry Palmer and made famous worldwide in the iconic 1960s film starring Michael Caine.The Ipcress File was not only Len Deighton's first novel, it was his first bestseller and the book that broke the mould of thriller writing.For the working class narrator, an apparently straightforward mission to find a missing biochemist becomes a journey to the heart of a dark and deadly conspiracy.The film of The Ipcress File gave Michael Caine one of his first and still most celebrated starring roles, while the novel itself has become a classic. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars Impressive Ipcress
I have no idea how I have managed to avoid reading Len Deighton's Ipcress File before this - but, boy, was it worth the wait.It has to be close to the most realistic spy story ever written.It only took me two days to finish - and I've got to have another go to pick up all the bits I missed as I wizzed through !Hard to put down !

5-0 out of 5 stars A debut with impact on the genre
The movie inspired by Len Deighton (LD)'s "The Ipcress File" (TIF), first published in 1962, starred a very young Michael Caine as the nameless hero, modelled to some extent on his creator. TIF is written in the I-form (first person singular) and readers are therefore dragged into this person's universe. At the start of the book he is transferred from the UK War Office to an undercover counter-intelligence unit. His preferred consumables (Blue Mountain coffee, Gauloises cigarettes) suggest he has been abroad, during and after WW II. Despite his lack of a 'proper', classical education (Eton, Oxbridge) he stands his ground against colleagues who did. At times he is insolent, flippant, ironic, sarcastic, and then, gradually, scared.
Because strange things are happening: UK scientists are disappearing and are being moved across the Iron Curtain. In the US, sensitive research data are leaked at an alarming speed and magnitude. What is going on? That is for the reader to find out. The book's venues are London and its periphery, Lebanon and the Tokwe atoll in the Pacific, a nuclear test site.
TIF was LDs debut at the age of 40. He has published some 40 books since, mostly on espionage during WW II and the Cold War (with 3 trilogies about British spy Bernard Samson). His main interests in life show up in his debut: (1)the nameless hero is a military history buff; LD later on published a number of highly acclaimed books on WW II; (2) reflecting the hero's fondness for good food, LD wrote a few cookbooks; and (3) the hero being a technology fan, LD's future books always remained at the forefront of espionage writing re technology. But fortunately, technology never dominates, not now, not later.
TIF is prescient on the use of computers, ultra-high speed transmission, new uses of B-52 bombers and submarines, etc. TIF is a wonderful debut of a man who equals Le Carré in terms of atmosphere and English class issues, but sweeps him briskly aside on modern technology and its uses. A very influential debut.

5-0 out of 5 stars More realistic than Bond
Reading this book after any of Ian Fleming's was an example of the notional shock to the system. Fleming's James Bond was a field agent and not just any field agent, mind you. He was a member of an exclusive group; those authorized by the government to kill their enemies. It was never clear if all double-zero agents were as urbane and sophisticated as Bond. What was certain was that the character - whether in print or on film - was the epitome of cool. In fact, it wasn't until deep into the series of books that Bond ever exhibited loss of composure. James Bond was the kind man that men wanted to emulate. He moved through his missions with aplomb, virtuosity, a sense and sensibility that left one breathless and awestruck.

In 1962 - the same year that we were introduced to Sean Connery as Bond in Dr. No - The Ipcress File was published in the UK. Posited as a debriefing to a high government official and told in the first person by the protagonist. We learn of the discovery and eventual dismantling of a "brain-washing" business run by a mercenary organization with no ties to any government. In that aspect, the entity is similar to Fleming's SPECTRE; UNCLE's THRUSH or even KAOS on Get Smart! As with any good trip, getting there is half the fun. The Ipcress File is a maze and minefield of clues, double and triple crosses, surveillance, shoot-outs and torture. But, it is there that similarities end.

The story is dressed out with an attention to description that is at once fascinating; obtuse to the reader and ultimately so dense with minutia that the reader feels as if they are inside the never-named hero's head looking through his eyes. Deighton does not write, "I walked along the Street." Instead, the journey is depicted via an amalgam of precision and metaphor, the density of which seems at first overwhelming but is really simply the insight into the character himself.

And what a character Deighton has created! He is as unlike James Bond, the uber-mensch of espionage, as is possible. At best a mid-level operative, the man is capable of pettiness, bitterness, vindictiveness, anger, jealousy and a host of other flaws, large and small. In short, he is as consummately human as is possible. His telling of the story reflects this and - if truth be known - one is never quite sure how skewed by prejudices is his recitation of the events. Some will find this off-putting; others will think it realistic.

This was author Deighton's debut novel. The franchise continued for the next thirty-four years. During that time, the character changed only slightly - mostly in terms of age; he always seemed to be in the 35 to 45 year range. One thing never changed and that was the depiction of the spy business. While Fleming made it romantic, Deighton's version was far more sordid and - more often than one perhaps wished - the lines between good and bad, them and us; even winners and losers was never firmly delineated.

In that aspect, the story is closer in tone to the works - yet to come in 1962 - of John LeCarre. However, LeCarre's works always centered around a more elite group who had achieved their position through combination of education, social status and family. Deighton's spy - when killing an American agent while protecting his boss or aiding a Soviet agent who personified the title of fellow-traveler - was the once and future working-class hero. A man on a path along which he would be as likely attacked by friend as foe; if it fact, he could tell them apart.

The climax and denouement of the novel finds him left - as he always knew, deep in his heart, he would be - dependent only upon himself and his own devices for survival. In Deighton's world, spying is necessary but the very need for it does not impart an iota of glamour.

5-0 out of 5 stars "It's a confusing story.I'm in a very confusing business."
Deighton's debut is a decidedly sardonic (but not jokey) spy tale that delivers wit and action even while whole sections of it are simply incomprehensible.However, the very things that make it so quirky and dated are also what make it fascinating.There's almost a Beat aesthetic at work.

And the plot is much more globe-trotting than the Caine movie.

I'm not sure why to this day people refer to the unnamed hero of the book as "Harry Palmer" his screen name and not Aquarius his astrological sign that opens most chapters.

4-0 out of 5 stars A nice read
While now being somewhat outdated, I really enjoy his brand o espionage. Deighton's mastery of dialogue is apparent, along with his ability to make the reader feel a part of the story and era. Deighton's research into contemporary Cold War espionage practices and bureaucracy is superb, as in all his books. Very believable, crisp, and gripping. Highly recommended ... Read more

5. Len Deighton: Three Complete Novels- Berlin Game / Mexico Set / London Match
by Len Deighton
Hardcover: 857 Pages (1993-03-15)
list price: US$13.99 -- used & new: US$39.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0517092727
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Compiles three bestselling novels from this king of suspense, London Match, Berlin Game, and Mexico Set, which all exemplify the author's typical themes of corruption, espionage, and double agents. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars Good Spy Series Written When the Cold War Was Hot
In the 1980s, I had read some books by Len Deighton ("SS-GB", "Fighter", and "Blood, Tears, and Folly") and enjoyed them, but back then my reading tastes did not run to cold war thrillers, so I didn't read any of his spy books about Harry Palmer or Bernard Samson.Recently, however, I happened to pick up "Berlin Game", and discovered it was a pretty good read, so I bought this omnibus book that also included the next two books in the series, "Mexico Set", and "London Match".

These books are about a middle-aged British Intelligence Officer in the 1970's, Bernard Samson, who used to be a field agent in Berlin but is now has a senior level desk job in London.In the first book, an extremely valuable East German spy wants out of East Germany and requests that Bernard, whom he met 20 years earlier and is one of the few people he trusts, be the agent who gets him out.This book, as are the subsequent books, is full of vivid characterizations, suspense, the occasional bit of off-beat humor, intricate plotting, betrayals, and redemptions.The same set of characters, both the good guys and bad guys, basically move from book to book, allowing Mr. Deighton to gradually fill-in their complexities, so that the books are deeper than many spy novels.These are books about people, not super-secret complex technology and gadgets, which I find a welcome change to many popular thrillers written today.

My only complaint about the series, and it's more of a nit than a true complaint, is that while the plot moves along quickly and seems plausible when you're reading it, when you step back and think about things, you find holes in the plot (at least I do).However, since I'm reading these books to be entertained, I can overlook the holes provided they don't rear their ugly heads while I'm acutally reading the book.

I'd probably give the books 4 ½ stars if that were possible, but since it's not, I'll round up to 5 stars.Give them a look; you can get this omnibus (used) pretty inexpensively.I enjoyed them enough that I've ordered the next three books in the series.

5-0 out of 5 stars Espionage With a Family Twist
When it comes to espionage novels, Len Deighton is as good as it gets.Realistic characters and cold war situations that many of us lived through abound.Ever since "The Ipcress File" introduced readers to the unamed, borderline criminal secret agent (named Harry Palmer in the movies), Deighton's creations have been believeable, realistic, and a fun read.After James Bond and other uber-agents, it was refreshing to see a regular guy that does things that effect the entire world, yet still has to worry about paying the gas bill.

Bernard Samson is such a character.Introduced briefly in an earlier novel, these three novels flesh out his story.This compilation is extremely handy.While each novel is a stand-alone great read, it is fantastic having them all together in one volume, and to be able to read them sequentially.Almost a thousand pages of entertainment for a really trivial price.

The basis of the stories revolves around Bernard Samson, shortly after his wife Fiona apparently defects to the other side.Both Bernard and Fiona are members of the British secret intelligence community.They have two children. Bernard brings off several major intelligence coups, while being suspected of complicity in his wife's defection (after all...how can you not know the person you share a bed with is a senior communist agent?)The plotting is tight, the characters exceptional.

Anyone who remembers civil defense shelters and bomb drills in grade school will love these stories.Read them, and you will want to seek out the other novels printed about these characters, to seee how it all turns out.This book is out-of-print and priced very reasonably.Get it before it goes up, as there is talk of Quentin Tarrantino being very interested in making a film version of these three novels.Read this boook.You won't be sorry.

5-0 out of 5 stars Book was as adveretised.
I am very pleased with the book. The condition was even better than stated and was promptly shipped. Overall an excellent buying experience. I would not consider buying a book anywhere else but Amazon. Always have had excellent results.

5-0 out of 5 stars Le Carre's equal.
Some of the best I've read in this genre and I'm not even finished with the last one yet.The forward by the author was very helpful as well.I stay up too late every night with this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Blankee
It's nice to have this three novel continuous story to help one get thru the winter months. Great companion !! ... Read more

6. Charity
by Len Deighton
Mass Market Paperback: 336 Pages (1997-11-01)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$24.04
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0061096024
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
For Bernard Samson, the end is near.

In the concluding volume of Len Deighton's superb trilogy that began with Faith and Hope, Bernard Samson continues to peel away the mystery surrounding the cold-blooded murder of his sister-in-law, Tessa, on the streets of Berlin. Although his wife, Fiona, has come back from the cold and is now in the West, his family is in tatters, and Samson has no where to turn for answers. Only his childhood friend Werner Volkman seems to offer the charity that Samson craves, but Volkmann is reluctant to get involved with any quest for the truth, no matter who is doing the asking.And as always, hovering above all Samson does and tries to be is the persistent memory of his father -- a deadly force to be reckoned with, even now.

Deighton's back and better than ever. Packed with action, incident and intrigue, Charity brings to a triumphant conclusion a series of 10 novels that represents one of the greatest achievements in modern fiction.Amazon.com Review
After steering master spy Bernard Samson throughFaith and Hope, Len Deighton wrapsup his trilogy with a predictable dose ofCharity. Although the beleaguered spook has plenty ofintrigue to deal with, this installment seems more diffuse and lessplot-driven than its predecessors. Still, Deighton fans will probablyenjoy the resolution of several outstanding cliffhangers, includingthe likelihood of a decent retirement package for the protagonist. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (21)

5-0 out of 5 stars Sorrowful end to a luminous saga.
I first read this book a year or so ago, all though I can not be sure why I waited so long to write a review for it.Perhaps I was hoping against hope that there would be another Samson trilogy.Or even one final novel on the scale of Winter (also by Len Deighton) which would tie in everything that had come to pass since Berlin Game to this respective volume in the saga of intrepid British Intelligence officer Bernard Samson.I had hoped that such a novel would emerge to tie up all of the loose ends left behind from this novel.But as it seems that no such work is forthcoming, I have no other choice but to cease procrastinating and write the review.

In Charity we the readers are granted one last fleeting view into the life of Bernard Samson.Here the eighties are coming to an end, the Soviet block is crumbling and Berlin no longer looks to be the luminary of the Cold War.Perhaps that's why Bernard Samson is initially posted there.In his final outing Bernard Samson is trapped between loyalties to his deceiving wife Fiona along with his love for his younger co-worker Gloria.His children are still in the grasp of his wealthy but totalitarian like father-in-law, the Department (a moniker for MI6) has decided that he can't be trusted anymore.Due to his desire to unearth the truth behind what really happened the night his wife defected back to the west. One is even given the slightest of hopes that Bernard will escape the pandemonium with his children and Gloria intact, to forever live a life of reasonable comfort in South America.However this doesn't come to pass, and in the end I was a little disappointed that nothing is made certain about Bernard's future.

Even now when I reflect upon this novel or the series in general, I always ask myself what happens next.Does Bernard become head of Berlin station? What happens to Fiona or Gloria is she able to go through a life with Bret Rensselaer?Is Fiona allowed to a life outside the Department knowing what she knows?All of these questions and more are un-answerable without knowing the authors true extent for the character.But certainly one can always imagine their own ending to the Bernard Samson saga, and perhaps that's what Deighton wanted us to do when he wrote the final pages of Charity. In many ways I am both content and grieved that this is the end of a ten book series, certainly one could say that to learn what happens to Bernard after the cold war would only be cruel.Those who have truly enjoyed the series as I have would be mortified to find a new trilogy, in which our valiant protagonist is pursuing terrorists throughout Europe, or drug lords in South America.One could never imagine Bernard Samson in any of these roles, because Bernard has always been and will always remain a Cold Warrior.And to not place him in such an atmosphere would be cruel and uncomfortable not only for the reader but also for the character.

But I digress, so in retrospect I highly recommend this novel to anyone searching for an excellent way to spend a few days.But most definitely no to those who are new to the series, than I would recommend that they were to commence with Winter and work their way up to this trilogy.I will however say that this series may not be for everyone, if you look for a fast and easy read, put down this novel and look at something else.But if you look for a novel that has more story line than action, a story where the dreadful shot is not fired from a weapon but rather from the minds and mouths of the characters. Than perhaps the Samson series is for you.

5-0 out of 5 stars Charity
The end of the Bernard Samson saga will not satisfy everyone. Ironically, Deighton's subtlety is greatly to blame; even with Deighton's pointed comments about how Samson's point of view does not necessarily coincide with reality, some of the reviews posted make it clear that some readers have missed some if not most of what was written between the lines.

As this reviewer is a child of immigrant parents himself, it is relatively easy to see how Bernard is much like his hometown of Berlin - split in two by forces beyond his control; he is considered an Englishman by Germans, and yet not an Englishman by his fellow countrymen. Through no fault of his own, he is deeply in love with two different women. He is in a thankless job that is ill suited to his temperament and sensibilities and he has compartmentalized himself accordingly. His whole existence is that of conflicted loyalties. Fortunately, Charity ends with a glimpse of our dear Bernd being made whole - coinciding with the subsequent falling of the Berlin wall and Berlin becoming whole again.

5-0 out of 5 stars Superb!
I've always been skeptical about ordering books that are "used".This purchase put my mind at ease.Although you can tell the book is several years old, it is in mint condition.

3-0 out of 5 stars I was a little disappointed...
Charity marks a number of ends.

First, it marks the end of the Faith, Hope and Charity trilogy which saw Bernard Samson achieve his life-long desire to succeed his father as the Berlin Head-of-Station for MI-6.

Second, it marks the conclusion to the trilogy of trilogies (Game, Set and Match; Hook, Line and Sinker and Faith, Hope and Charity) which saw Samson take on both STASI (the East German Intelligence Service) and MI-6, both of which organizations saw him as nothing more than what he was: a pawn of those in political and social power.

Third, it marks the conclusion of the Samson family saga in which the notional sins of the father are visited upon the son.

Finally, it thus far marks the end of Len Deighton's writing career, as no other fiction or non-fiction has been published.

This last point is the most sad for me, as I believed Mr. Deighton to be an extremely gifted writer of thought-provoking and thoroughly enjoyablefiction and non-fiction. As regards the spy genre, with the exception of only The Spy Who Came In From The Cold - maybe the best such novel ever - I believe Deighton had it in leaps and bounds over LeCarre. But, I digress.

Charity brought a resolution to the story of Bernard Samson, the son of a spy who suffered for his father's errors and his own self-destructive boorishness driven by parental love and class-envy. At virtually every turn - maybe even including the last - he is deceived and bertayed by all and sundry. His wife is an adultress and possible turncoat; his best friend betrays him for money; his girlfriend betrays him with his superior and his mentor instigates most of the problems that afflict him. And those are only the most obvious issues. At the same time, all of these characters (and others!) seem to rely on the axiom of "Bernard can deal with it!" to fix everything.

And, what is the end? As a sop for having his extant and possible lives demolished, he is given the only thing he ever really wanted; namely the aforementioned position in Berlin.

It should come as no surprise that "this bone to a starving dog" occurs on the cusp of the collapse of Communism and German reunification.

Why was I disappointed? The ending is bland by Deighton standards: people go their separate ways as T. S. Eliott said "not with a bang but with a whimper." In many ways - I say this in retrospect - it is like the Soprano's ending..you really want to know what will happen next.

Read it, but - as mentioned by another reviewer - start at the beginning with Berlin Game...or maybe Winter; you'll have to read it anyway.

5-0 out of 5 stars At Last... The Conclusion of a Great Series
This novel series is a stand-out from the Cold War era, and still well worth reading. I read the first eight books as they came out, but then got sidetracked by marriage, life, etc. Last year I found a copy of this book (which is the last of the nine novels) and determined that I would re-read all the previous books first. I just recently finished and I loved every page of it. This is one of the best novel series I have ever read, and certainly one of the best espionage genre series ever. There are so many things to like about this series (you can read my earlier reviews if you're interested...).

In this final book several (but not all...) series-length plots reach a very satisfying conclusion. I can hardly write more without spoiling things. True, some readers have been less than satisfied with the conclusion. If you are the kind of reader that likes all questions answered, and all plot lines sewed-up; you may be less than satisfied too. But I like it when an author doesn't feel the need to resolve everything and grants me the freedom to draw some of my own conclusions about characters and story lines. If this describes you, I think you'll love this series.

As other reviewers here have mentioned, the author/publisher claims that each of these books can be read on their own, and perhaps they could be. But you will get a lot more enjoyment out of it if you start at the beginning with _Berlin Game_ (or even better yet - start with the WWII prequel: _Winter_).
... Read more

7. Spy Hook (MM to TR Promotion)
by Len Deighton
 Paperback: 208 Pages (1997-09-10)
list price: US$12.00
Isbn: 0345420160
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
What Bernard Sampson, protagonist of BERLIN GAME, MEXICO SET, and LONDON MATCH, is about to know may hurt him. When word gets to London Central that a cache of millions of pounds has disappeared inside the Service, Samson is determined to learn the truth. But not even that discovery will help if the Department itself wants his blood....
... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

4-0 out of 5 stars The first installment of an excellent trilogy
This is the first novel of a trilogy that follows the Game, Set and Match trilogy (in which British agent Bernard Samson's wife Fiona defects). Spy Hook begins with the beleaguered Samson asking former agent Jim Pettyman, now working for an American corporation, to return to England to answer questions in the investigation of missing agency funds.After considerable intrigue involving (among other characters), a Hungarian known as Dodo, Samson learns something he isn't supposed to know about Bret Rensselaer, an agent who played an important role (and died) in the Game, Set and Match trilogy.To the consternation of his bosses, Samson keeps nosing into the missing money, following his suspicion that Fiona set up the account.Eventually Samson comes under suspicion (could he be working with his treasonous wife?) and as the noose begins to tighten, we come to a cliffhanger ending.

As some other reviewers note, the sheer number of characters involved in the story can make it a bit confusing, but that complexity is just a reason to pay attention, to look back from time to time, or to take notes, not to dislike the book.The story is fast paced, intriguing, tightly plotted and well written with sharply defined characters.Samson's growing confusion as he defies orders and investigates matters he's supposed to leave alone makes him an appealing, sympathetic character.The supporting characters are often recognizable components of bureaucratic institutions -- the ones who get ahead by knowing the right people and stay there by creatively doing nothing, taking credit for the hard work of their subordinates.I would give this novel 4 1/2 stars if only to distinguish it from the 5 stars I've given the next book, Spy Line, which is even better.

5-0 out of 5 stars Used copy of Spy Hook by Len Deighton
Used book arrived on schedule and was in good, readable condition as advertised by seller.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another great trilogy!!
After GAME, SET & MATCH Deighton ups the pace with a much shorter book. Deighton reveals a little more about his characters while our hero becomes increasingly baffled. A terrific hook for the rest of the series

1-0 out of 5 stars Spy Hook Sinks
This is by far the worst book I have ever read.It is dull, boring, and you don't even have a clue as to what is going on until about the 20th chapter (and it only has 22 chapters).

4-0 out of 5 stars Overtaken by history
The action follows that of London Match, and I don't think it's giving anything away to say that it ends with a cliffhanger forcing you to read Spy Line, the next in the series.
Samson the wearied but enthusiastic British spy who is the hero of this series, is a rerun of Palmer of the much earlier Ipcress File. Many of the same situations recur. Even the bumbling fellow passenger on the plane is a rerun. The plot, as in all the others, hinges on which British spy will turn out to be a mole working for the Russians. Much of the action takes place in a divided Berlin. This was published in 1988 so the end of the Cold War was about to out-date it in a way, but it's still great entertainment.
One group of Deighton fans regards this series as a falling off from his earlier stories. They are more conventional in a way, but this partly refects that Deighton and Carre were being imitated, rather than that Deighton was yielding to fashion. ... Read more

8. Spy: Hook Line and Sinker
by Len Deighton
Hardcover: 730 Pages (1992)

Isbn: 0712649646
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9. Winter (MM to TR Promotion)
by Len Deighton
 Paperback: Pages (1997-09-10)
list price: US$14.00
Isbn: 0345420187
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Peter and Pauli Winter are two very different brothers born into a time when the horrors of war engulf and extinguish the Germany that is. Yet for all their differences, the destinies of the two brothers are forever bound to the madness that lies ahead. From their sheltered childhood through their violent coming of age in the Great War . . . from the chaos of 1920 Berlin to the spreading power of Hitler . . . the brothers are wrenched apart by conflicting ideals and ambitions. Now mortal enemies, they are trapped in a holocaust that threatens to tear them -- and the world -- to pieces.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (26)

4-0 out of 5 stars Rivetting and epic
It has been 25 years since I last read Len Deighton, and my mother lent me this copy because she was interested in checking the historical veracity of the events. This being so, that's where I'll start, by saying that Deighton clearly does his homework, and knows both wartime history and Germany very well indeed. Although the characters are Berliner, parts of the story are based around the Bodensee, which I know very well, and here again Deighton never puts a foot wrong. Except that he describes it as gloomy - locals call it the German Riviera. (Or the Schwäbische Meer.) The munitions industries of which Deighton speaks are still alive and well, and to this day Zeppelins from Friedrichshafen can be seen plying the sky above the Lake. I have worked in one of the Dornier factory sites which I suspect was the employer of the British agent Samson, making the book almost an eerie read.

Also to be found around the Bodensee are a network of tunnels built by Jewish slave labour, memorials to the Jews that died in this dependent enterprise of Dachau and to those people who died in the mass upheavals following the war. One of Deighton's Winter brothers is a contributor to the policies that led to these crimes, and as someone married to a German that I met within sight of these tunnels, the events of this book present me with some conundrums. How did this culture, the West's then most advanced civilisation, turn its hand to organised murder on a scale perhaps unique in all of history? The answers are beyond the scope of a mere review, but I think that if you read "Winter" you will have a better idea of how it came to pass, if not "why".

We meet one of the Winter brothers in the immediate aftermath of the war, as he is asked to defend a high-ranking countryman at Nürnberg. We find that one of the brothers is himself at risk of a war crimes tribunal while the other is flying to Germany as part of the American team to prosecute one. Clearly, Deighton also knows his Sophocles! We do not know which brother is which, though, and it is a considerable way into the plot that one can first make a good guess.

From here, the book follows the two brothers from their birth at the dawn of the Century up to the end of the Second World War. The brothers are old enough that both take part in the first war from which the second manifestly grows as the book progresses. One goes to the trenches as a young infantry officer and sees service in a punishment battalion and then in the storm troops which served as the basis for the coming German-made revolution in modern warfare. The other brother takes to the air, flying Zeppelins over London in one of the books' most rivetting and atmospheric passages.

After the war, both brothers turn to law, but their careers and lives diverge dramatically. One becomes a lawyer for the Nazis and investigator for the Gestapo; one, married to a Jew, eventually takes his daughter and escapes to the USA. Both brothers are driven in their own ways by their relationship to their father; both are recognisably human and sympathetic. But one is the "Good German", and his legal flair provides the spurious legitimacy for the worst acts of the Nazis in their rise to and abuse of power. It is this tension which makes the book vibrate with historical resonance; out of banality comes evil. I will be following up by reading Arendt's report on Eichmann (see below) to develop this idea further, While the goodness of this brother is a little artificial - doing evil to the many he still would not hurt a fly in the singular, and actively seeks to save personal acquaintances from the Shoah - the pattern is, I think, real. Bad things are not done by evil people, by and large. They are done by the banal out of conformity or out of weakness - of even for noble reasons. This striking and terrifying paradox is the central mystery of the Holocaust, and Deighton grasps it hard and thrashes you in the face with it.

The ending alone I found a little weak. It could hardly have ended well, but it did not end powerfully enough for my taste. Nevertheless, Deighton has produced a truly epic and enlightening account of this key climacteric of modern Western history.

Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil (Penguin Classics)

4-0 out of 5 stars Compelling Read
While this book is now out of print, it is available through many outlets via Amazon.It is a compelling story set in WWII.The subject is dated, but the story/characters are not.Our book club selected this and during our review all 14 members rated it a 10 (on a score of 1-10).Get a copy, and ENJOY.

4-0 out of 5 stars One of Deighton's finest novels
"Winter" is one of the few novels of its genre that I found myself enjoying a second and third time round after a lapse of 2 or 3 years, for its excellent characters and authentic historical background.

As the editorial reviews indicate, the ending is a bit contrived, and I found it a bit unsatisfying, especially perhaps because I was so totally immersed in the story I expected more resolution for the long involved plot.

However, this is **not** a "spy thriller" as one might expect from the author, but a complex historical novel about life, family, culture and generational conflict from 1900 through WW2, and as such I feel should be judged more as literary art rather than by the mechanical framework a typical mystery or thriller novel that requires everything to be neatly tied up at the end.

One side consequence of my being completely immersed in the story's characters and milieu is that I nearly finished the book before tumbling to the fact that while a genuinely superb standalone novel, it is also sort of a backstory or prequel to Deighton's "Spy" series.

Since that series was one of my favorite "spy" stories, (or at least the first 3 or 4 books- before Deighton got blindsided by the fall of the Berlin Wall, etc., causing him to flail around for a few years trying establish a new "enemy", in which situation Deighton was not alone among "spy thriller" authors), I naturally felt like an idiot for not tumbling to the "prequel" bit sooner.

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent Drama
One of Deighton's finest novels, Winter, Chronicles the lives of Paul and Peter Winter from 1900 to 1945. As the subtitle suggests this is not just a family drama, but a history of one of Europe's most tragic cities. The drama of the Winter family is a metaphor for all that is good in Germany, as well as all that is bad. Paul and Peter Winter, the 2 sons who are the central focus of the novel, both live tragic lives who are doomed to suffer the horrors of the 20th century. Besides the 2 brothers, there are whole host of minor and major characters who add depth and complexity to the story. I read this novel 20 years ago while living in Germany, and I became instantly hooked on the entire Bernard Sampson saga. As other readers suggest, this book acts as a historical backdrop for Bernard Sampson and his espionage exploits.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great historical fiction
Almost finished.
Found unused "new" 1988 1 st issue hard back cleaning out shelves.
Glad I started reading it(is large book and a little intimidating). With the exception of a very few sections that had to bring you up on historial facts it goes faster than expected.

Wonderful insight of Germany from the 30's through 1945. A great story of a Berlin family pre-Hitler through the end of world war 2.
Characters include Rich and Poor Germans, Americans in Germany, Jews caught in the middle, and English / US events during the war. All built around the Winter family of Berlin.
Good reading and helps get a "feel" of what it was like for various people during some very intense time. ... Read more

10. Faith
by Len Deighton
 Paperback: Pages (1996)
-- used & new: US$29.70
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0583323413
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars Superior service
Book arrived within 2 or 3 days, beautifully wrapped, and i excellent condition.First rate service all around.

1-0 out of 5 stars My first and last Bernard Samson...
This book ran like a soap opera, boring and almost no plot. Bernard is an "intelligence" agent who falls for anything and can't protect himself or his important Russian defector. He mistaking thought the defector was killed by a shot through the window at a house at the start of this book. He then learns otherwise. Finally he assists him in defecting and takes him to a known "unsafe" safe house and while leaving the curtains open, allows him to be killed by a shot through the window. Come on, Please. Anyone is smarter than this!

All through this story, an ambitious boss, Dickey, is staking his career on this defector. When the mission unfolds, he suddenly acts as if it doesn't matter where they hide him! This goes against the entire storyline and doesn't make sense.

Gloria, the ex-girlfriend, tries to tell Bernard that his case files on the computer as well as others are being wiped clean, as if they never took place, and he ignores this. It's never mentioned again in the book. What was the point of it, then? Bernard's' intelligence is not very evident anywhere in this story.

'Fcoleman' stated "though the plots gone downhill the next novels worth checking out to see what happens to Bernard". I disagree. I think daytime soaps have at least as credible writing as Len Deighton has displayed in this story. The other stories may be much better, but it's unlikely that I will ever find out.

5-0 out of 5 stars Number Eight in Len Deighton's Superb Ten Volume Spy Epic
Although I have always been more a fan of his quick-read spy thrillers that spawned the Harry Palmer movies, Len Deighton's most accomplished delineation of the Cold War spy has to be his ten-volume epic torment of Bernd Samson. Beginning with "Winter," to set the background, moving quickly through "Game," "Set" and "Match," to set up our hero, and salting the wounds in "Hook," "Line" and "Sinker," lest our master op relax, this epic enters the end-game in Deighton's "Faith," being the eighth volume and first of a concluding three volume set. If you love, as do I, that complex web of intrigues and betrayals that typify the lives of our anti-heroic Bonds and Palmers, then you'll relish this near endless revel. Deighton is a master of the set-up: He runs his protagonist down a danger strewn path while allowing scant justification for the hero's sleazy use of allies and corruption of the occasional bystander, and inevitably drops his agent and the reader into bewildering mire that should have been obvious at the outset.As with all his novels "Faith" keeps the faith, delivering an engrossing narrative that stands alone for a quick thrill. But, for the deeper read, start from the beginning of this tale of a man who was born to spy.

5-0 out of 5 stars The spy business is a rotten apple
To write a long trilogy on the very last months of the DDR from the point of view of the British Secret Services in 1994 is « nearly » anachronic. So the author chose a completely different approach than a simple spy story. It is a real novel with real and thick characters who do have a social existence and a cultural density. The « action » is slower of course. And the object of the novel is not to show us one more of those unbeatable James Bond. The object of the novel is to explore the human and unhuman, definitely unhumane, functioning of London Central. Incredible conflicts between field-agents and bureaucrats, the severe hierarchization of these bureaucrats in the number of square meters of office space they get, with or without a window, with carpet or linoleum on the floor, etc. This constant inside strife is the main characteristic of London Central. The plot of the book will peter out because field agents have no say, and bureaucrats forget essential elements. The bureaucrats dream theories that bite the dust when implemented, at times with casualties, and yet they will survive with essentially two methods. 1- They will put the blame on their underlings (and there is condescendence in this attitude) ; 2- They will cover up the failure with a false explanation that will make a KGB or Stasi agent become a sniper in London and use an American weapon and all the night equipment necessary. They will of course try to cover up the nature of the weapon. For that reason the book is interesting. We are under the surveillance and control - constant control - of secret services who are the most conflictual pot of spiders in the world. We don't know them. We have to trust them. And we may find ourselves under crossfire. Bad luck and that has not changed since the end of the Cold War, far from it. The advantage of this system was that it more or less shortcircuited terrorism. Nowadays we still have the conflictual antagonistic secret services plus the various terrorist organizations that provide some discontents with the possibility to express their anger at, or their ambition in, their society and world that are the cause of their discontentment.

Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, Université Paris Dauphine, Université Paris I Panthéon Sorbonne

5-0 out of 5 stars Another great read
ist of this trilogy but 7-9 in the series, a must read for deighton fans. ... Read more

11. Catch a Falling Spy
by Len Deighton
 Paperback: 336 Pages (1993-05)
list price: US$5.50 -- used & new: US$150.43
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0061002070
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars A well crafted thriller
Catch a Falling Spy (also published under the title Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Spy) is a well crafted spy thriller that incorporates elements of dark comedy with gritty action, suspense, and a noir atmosphere.The characters lack the depth of Bernard Sampson, the star of many of Deighton's later novels, but they are nonetheless intriguing.British agent Harry Palmer teams with CIA agent Mickey Mann to help Bekuv, a Russian scientist, defect.Bekuv refuses to cooperate unless his beautiful young wife, Katerina, joins him.Added to the mix are a U.S. senator and his aide, and a failed CIA operative, Harry Dean, who may or may not be a traitor--but the loyalty of nearly every principle character is in doubt through much of the novel.Deighton takes the reader on a wild ride, mixing credible action scenes with atmospheric intrigue.Fans of spy fiction shouldn't miss this one.

1-0 out of 5 stars Disappointment
Nowhere near the quality of Game Set Match. Earlier Deighton seemed to be better. Then he got commercial.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good quick read
A very nice book, probably not as good as his nine Bernard Samson novels, but still a nice read. It has the usual globetrotting spy aspects and is done in a way that only Len Deighton could pull off. If you are a fan of deightons this is sure to please.

5-0 out of 5 stars "Harry Palmer" in a global criss cross.
Although the novel doesn't come right and say it, this has all the markings of a "Harry Palmer" novel. A nameless British agent criss crosses the globe in an effort to aid a defecting Russian scientist. Nothing is as it seems and our protagonist must sort it all out.

4-0 out of 5 stars Vintage Deighton spy yarn
This terse, fast-moving cold-war spy yarn has to do with a pair of counterspies careening around the world (the Sahara, Washington, Paris, Florida) trying to coopt a Russian engineer in order to get at a Russian installation capable of intercepting satellite intelligence transmissions. The main characters are a CIA operative, Major Mann, and the story's narrator, a nameless British agent. The plot twists are entertaining enough, but as in all of this author's better books, the real fun is in overhearing the conversations and the wry observations that reveal the characters and situations in which the coolly competent protagonists operate. Much of the pleasure in a Deighton novel lies in coming upon the author's clever turns of phrase -- as in a scene where our two agents are in the posh Florida home of a communist agent grilling the wife regarding her knowledge of his activities. She tries to maintain a facade of innocent southern gentility, but as her story is being picked apart item by item, she fiddles with her purse, which our narrator observes is "made from a couple of yards of the Bayeaux tapestry." ... Read more

12. Spy Line
by Len Deighton
 Paperback: Pages (2009-06-01)
-- used & new: US$29.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0007330189
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
British agent Bernard Samson finds himself inexplicably hunted as a traitor, forced to abandon his life, his job, his position, and plunge into hiding in the most dangerous and darkest corner of Berlin. What is happening? What has he done? Nothing makes sense until Samson discovers that the Secret Service has known all along where he is. In fact, they have never taken him off the payroll. And now they are prepared to return his freedom and good name -- but there are strings attached, strings that begin to tighten around his neck even before his plane lands in Vienna . . .
... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars The best of the trilogy
Spy Line -- the middle installment in the Hook, Line, and Sinker trilogy -- picks up where Spy Hook left off.Samson's loyalty is questioned, he isn't getting answers to his own questions about his wife's defection, people are dying, and people who seemed to die in the past aren't staying dead.More I cannot say without spoiling the intricate plot.

Spy Line has more action than the previous novel.Samson proves himself an adept field agent even after years behind a desk.But he isn't a James Bond type superhero; he's a dedicated public servant who wants to uncover the truth even if his superiors would prefer that the truth be kept secret.The minor characters in Spy Line really shine:they bumble, they seduce, they act shamefully or unselfishly -- in short, they behave as inconsistently and unpredictably as real people, and real people is what they feel like.Deighton does a masterful job of bringing every character to life in this book.He also does a remarkable job of establishing a sense of place -- the reader feels present in (what was then) East Germany, feels the repression, the fear, the history.And he does a satisfying job of tying together the loose threads, of resolving all the outstanding plot lines.

The story is compelling (even shocking) but this novel stands out for Deighton's portrayal of Samson as a man torn apart by his love for a treasonous wife, for his live-in girlfriend, and for his country (which doesn't treat him well at all).This novel is nearly as good as John Le Carre at his best.

4-0 out of 5 stars 5th in the series
I've always enjoyed spy stories, but I don't read all that many of them. As a result, when I run across one by a familiar author, I buy it and don't pay attention to chronology. Spy Line is the 5th in Deighton's Bernard Samson series. I'm pretty sure I read the 4th book, but have no clue about the others.

British secret agent Bernard Samson's life has just become even more dangerous and confusing. Apparently, Spy Line picks up where Spy Hook leaves off, with Bernard on the run in Berlin, suspected of being a double agent.

He starts putting information together from the bits and pieces he learns from various sources, and makes his way home to his girlfriend and children.

Then he discovers it was all a setup, and that it has to do with his wife Fiona, who'd defected to the Soviet Union years earlier.

Spy Line has a nice balance of exciting spy adventure and emotional turmoil. I particularly enjoyed Bernard's mixed emotions regarding Fiona.

Len Deighton's writing isn't quite as obscure as John LeCarre's, but it's not all that straightforward, either. I'm not sure if I think that having to read between the lines a bit fits the subject matter, or if it's just that I'm used to reading spy novels by these two. Still, I think I'd have enjoyed it more if it had been written in a clearer style.

One of these days, I need to make myself a checklist and read these books in order so I get more out of them.

5-0 out of 5 stars Don't miss
I have read all the Spy series books by Deighton.This is one of the best.Out of nowhere the plot backed by solid prose builds to a suspenseful crescendo. I was impelled to order the next in the series after reading this one by the suspenseful cliffhanger storyline.

4-0 out of 5 stars Spy Line
Spy line continued the story of Bernard Sampson. Deighton wrote all his trilogies so that they may be read separate, although there is a continuous storyline.I wish he had not done so, we get a continuing redundancy of detail about each character and setting.The dilemmas you anticipate from the previous books does in fact occur and there is much less twist to the plot than in Game, Set, Match.I am left mangled in a difficult dilemma in the plot that does not get any attention before the book closes, and I assume that it will be taken up in his next trilogy.If these books were supposedly meant to be read in any order there should have been a resolution of any central dilemma.If you have already read the other books, then I recommend you read this one and keep going.That must have been his point in not solving the dilemma, but don't tell me they can be read separately.

5-0 out of 5 stars 5 of 6 Books in this series
Another great read if you havent read the previous 4 run out and get them. ... Read more

13. Mexico Set (MM to TR Promotion)
by Len Deighton
 Paperback: Pages (1997-09-10)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$33.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345418360
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Now on the shadowy East-West battlefield of Mexico City. British intelligence agent Bernard Samson must entice his opposite number, a disaffected KGB major, to take the final, dramatic step -- and defect.

But the price of one Russian's freedom must be paid in blood -- blood that Samson unexpectedly and incriminatingly finds on his own hands. On every side, he becomes dangerously enmeshed in an intricate web of suspicion and hatred. Yet how can he fight when he doesn't know where to find his most determined enemies -- or even who they are?

Berlin Game, Mexico Set, London Match:
Three spectacular thrillers featuring agent Bernard Samson. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

4-0 out of 5 stars you need to read all nine
Mexico Set was a good book but it's part of a set of nine that seems to climax with number six, Spy Sinker, which unravels a lot of plot points that continue from book to book. In the last three books (Faith, Hope and Charity) Deighton seems to be unwinding the careers of Bernard and his faithful companion Werner in order to end the series and retire. Too bad.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not Free SF Reader
Wife traitor repercussions.

Bernard Samson's wife is at the heart of his dilemma.Revealed as the KGB mole, his own organisation is viewing him with some suspicion for being fooled, despite any successes just obtained.

One of his wife's KGB colleagues is looking to defect, and he has to travel to Mexico to make this happen.It all gets rather complicated as he suspects that, as you would, it might be a setup.

Just as interesting, this novel, even without the startling familial revelation of the first of the trilogy.

5-0 out of 5 stars There is no 'love' in the tennis match of espionage
This is the second novel of the Bernard Samson trilogy which begins with Berlin Game and ends with London Match. The story opens with Dicky Cruyer cursing at a pedestrian in a Mexico trafic jam. Interestingly enough, Mr. Deighton shows us the pedestrian 400 pages later to see if we've been paying attention.

Samson, a professional MI-6 field operative, is devastated by the defection of his wife, Fiona, to the other side. Read KGB. Read the evil empire. To all that ask him 'if he still loves her' he denies he does. But Mr. Deighton leaves any number of clues for his readers to make us know that at best, it's just false bravado.

Handicapped somewhat emotionally by the strain of realizing that their whole marriage, the children, the shared experiences was but a stage she played upon, Bernard must also face the onslaught of accusatory hearings from his employers at London Central, the 'deskmen' lacking any field experience where hard men do the hard things that he hates so much.

We see the old characters Frank Harrington, the Iago-like Dicky, the self serving Bret Rensselaer, and his close friend for life Werner Volkmann and Volkmann's straying wife, Zena.

Deighton's humor is subtle and droll. When faced with a dilemma Dicky says "Muy BLOODY complicado," Bernard thinks 'that's only because he doesn't understand.'

Blood is spilt, sometimes innocent blood, sometimes not so innocent. Bernard is loyal, confused, older, tripped up by forces that should be aiding him but who have their own agendas. Erich Stinnes, the KGB officer who interrogated him in East Berlin says to him, "I hate deskmen." Samson replies "Me too. They're bloody dangerous."

Excellent read about the life and death struggles of the alphabet agencies of the 70's and 80's. You don't have to read Berlin Game first but it helps. Things are different now . . but maybe not. Maybe there are just different letters. 5 stars. Larry Scantlebury

4-0 out of 5 stars Bernard Samson is a gem.
This book can standalone as a good spy story, but only reaches excellence when read as part of the trilogy - Berlin Game, Mexico Set, and London Match. The tension ebbs and flows throughout the trilogy, but it isn't until the climax of London Match that we see the full scope. Highly recommended!

4-0 out of 5 stars Tennis anyone? 'Game' to Fiona, 'Set'...
...as yet undecided, in this the second book in the 'Berlin Game', 'Mexico Set' and 'London Match' spy trilogy featuring Bernard Samson. And what a contest this is - Bernard's wife - Fiona stunned most of us in the first book by being exposed as the long serving KGB mole inside MI6. She won that 'game' by defecting East, having done her damage and leaving more behind. Bernard is shattered. He exposed Fiona but is now under suspicion himself (MI6 is wondering - can you be married to a 'mole' for over a decade and not know? or is he one himself?).

Bernard has a chance to redeem himselfby bringing in Erich Stinnes, Fiona's KGB assistant who is supposedly defecting. Off he goes to Mexico to debrief Stinnes, but soon questions arise and Bernard is again in a fix. Is Stinnes a Fiona 'plant' designed to further discredit Bernard and convince London that he is KGB? or is he genuine? Poor Bernard. Amidst all this he has to contend with political infighting in MI6, unwanted advances from his sister in law, Tessa and deal with self doubt and guilt over Fiona. He often wonders whether the collapse of their marriage and Fiona's betrayal was all her own doing or did he have something to do with it.

Suffice it to say the plot unfolds suitably and all the above questions are satisfactorily answered. ... Read more

14. Hope
by Len Deighton
Mass Market Paperback: 320 Pages (1996-12-01)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$29.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0061095559
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Bernard Samson's most challenging mission takes him from the comparative innocence of rural Poland to the dubious heart of London Central and forces him to choose between his job and his ethics as well as the two women he loves. Reprint. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

2-0 out of 5 stars Deighton meets D. Gilman
Well, how to start?
I used to be a fan of Mr. D. stories until now. I'm Polish and the area covered by "Hope" is familiat to me and yet something has sounded wrong from the very beginning. It is not a sense of English humor. I enjoy it. It was the reality of Communist Poland in the waning '80, presented by Deighton. Briefly, it is BS in plain words. I have completed first 66 pages and gave in. Enough is enough. If it were Fleming and J. Bond, I would understand. There are no excuses. "Hope" is hopeless. I have given 2 stars for some dialogues which are still vivid and funny.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Read
A continuation of the fascinating spy trilogies Deighton published in the 80's.The book sucks you in and at its leisurely pace surprises you with twists and turns.

5-0 out of 5 stars Samson at his finest
Bernard is off to Poland in this latest 8 0f 9 in the series, a must read

5-0 out of 5 stars Samson goes to Poland
The Cold War espionage genre may seem a little dated. There are other concerns and fears on many of our minds now. But for reasons I'll get to below, this novel series is a stand-out from that era, and still well worth reading.

_Hope_ was actually written after the fall of the Berlin Wall, but the plot takes place a few years before it. In this book Bernard Samson takes an assignment to communist Poland seeking his missing brother-in-law, who may be digging up secrets neither side wants revealed. The book plot is interesting enough, but also there are several series-length plot lines that continued to engross me: can Bernard and his wife Fiona rebuild their marriage and their family? What really happened to Bernard's father? Was Bernard's sister-in-law really killed by the side of that East Berlin highway?

I just recently re-read the entire Bernard Samson series (of which this is the eighth out of nine novels). It is one of the best novel series I have ever read, and certainly one of the best espionage genre series ever. There are so many things to like about this series - the in-depth characterizations; the pithy observational asides about people and cultures; the references to multiple languages and their subtleties; the gritty European settings; the hidden plot developments and character motivations that the narrator either can't or won't see; etc.

The author claims that each of these books can be read on their own, and perhaps they could be. But I agree with other reviewers here: you can get a lot more enjoyment out of it if you start at the beginning with _Berlin Game_ (or even better yet - start with the WWII prequel: _Winter_).

4-0 out of 5 stars Fear would be a better title
The Samson series may not be for everybody. It lacks the larger than life setting of a James Bond whopper and it doesn't have all the background of LeCarre's Smiley tales.
But these are good, realistic reads. Hope is no different and one of the best in the Samson series in my opinion.
Deighton deals with some interesting, complex problems that were facing the spy services at the time and still are. Such as what's the truth, what will happen in this changing world and how far is too far to go in situations.
What I think he does very well is describing Bernard Samson's fear. Several passages in the book show what fear does to a man in extreme situations. You can almost feel Samson's frayed nerves.
He's human and with all the drawbacks that brings a man. To some, humanity foilables may not be interesting fodder for novels. If you want to know the super agent is always going to bed the girl and blow up the volcano HQ then maybe Samson and other books like it isn't your bag ... baby.
If you want a little touch of realism with your tea then grab all the Samson books plus Deighton's novel Winter, which is a prequel.
I agree with others who said these things should be read in order (Winter, Berlin Game, Mexico Set, London Match, Spy Hook, Spy Line, Spy Sinker, Faith, Hope and lastly Charity), but if you were to grab Hope out of sequence it wouldn't be that big a deal. Deighton gives the right level of background.
This is a good book. Pick it up. ... Read more

15. Spy Sinker
by Len Deighton
 Paperback: 400 Pages (2009-07-01)

Isbn: 0007329717
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The long-awaited reissue of the final part of the classic spy trilogy, HOOK, LINE and SINKER, when the Berlin Wall divided not just a city but a world.Bernard Samson is surrounded by puzzles and none more complex than Fiona, his wife and the mother of his children. But as a mystery, she is by no means alone. Can a man love two women at the same time? Can a man serve two masters?Tessa Kosinski, Bernard's socialite sister-in-law, is not the 'other woman'. She is as faithful to Bernard and Fiona as she is unfaithful to her doting husband. But she is vulnerable, and slowly she is drawn from the bright lights of London to the murkiest and bizarre corners of Berlin. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

4-0 out of 5 stars Wrapping up the last five books
Spy Sinker retells the Samson saga (as developed in the Game, Set, and Match trilogy and in the first two books of the Hook, Line, and Sinker trilogy) from the points of view of players other than Samson:notably his wife Fiona, the bombastic fellow agent Bret Rensselaer, the Director General Henry Clevemore, and the power behind the scenes, Silas Gaunt.Most of the novel centers on the Game, Set and Match time frame.It fills in gaps and provides additional insight into Fiona, but unlike the other novels, this one is more expository, more telling than showing.The novel is essential if you've read the other five for the clarifying background it provides and for tying up loose ends (and maybe even for making sense of the whole thing, because trying to keep information straight that develops over the course of five books is challenging: this novel acts as an outline of prior events).As a stand-alone, however, it's a bit more of a yawner than other books in the series, and certainly a spoiler if you don't save it for last.Its main interest derives from the insight it provides into characters you've grown to know (and to like or dislike, depending on the character) over the course of the first five books.

1-0 out of 5 stars stiff and boring
Couldn't get into this book, I found the characters morally weak and the pace of the book very slow. It was so bad that I couldn't even finish, not worth my time.It seemed like you were reading a script for a TV show from the 40's or 50's, very dated, stiff and slow.

5-0 out of 5 stars 6 of 9 in the series
A great read, 6th in the series, dont miss it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Winter
To really enjoy any of the nine books in the three triologies,
Berlin Game, Mexico Set, and London Match- Spy Hook, Spy Line, and Spy Sinker - Faith, Hope, and Charity one should begin with Deighton's Winter. This books traces the story of the German family named Winter from New Years, 1900 through the close of the Second World War and in the process introduces most of the principal characters that appear in the subsequent trilogies. I have recently reread the ten books, starting with Winter and my enjoyment was multiplied many times over the first readings.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very Good Book
I would have to agree with many of the other reviewers in stating that this is one of the better Bernard Samson books. It is a good follow up and great end to this series.He pulled off a book that has a good deal of suspense through out.There is also a lot of human drama outside of the spy vs. spy game.If you are into espionage books this is a great set to send time with. ... Read more

16. Berlin Game (Panther Books)
by Len Deighton
Paperback: 432 Pages (1996-08)
list price: US$14.80 -- used & new: US$8.28
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0586058206
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Long-awaited reissue of the first part of the classic spy trilogy, GAME, SET and MATCH, when the Berlin Wall divided not just a city but a world.East is East and West is West - and they meet in Berlin!He was the best source the Department ever had, but now he desperately wanted to come over the Wall. 'Brahms Four' was certain a high-ranking mole was set to betray him. There was only one Englishman he trusted any more: someone from the old days.So they decided to put Bernard Samson back into the field after five sedentary years of flying a desk.The field is Berlin.The game is as baffling, treacherous and lethal as ever! ... Read more

Customer Reviews (21)


I've always enjoyed the spy world genre and the plethora of books it has spawned, having myself some small experience in this field while in the military-just as the 007 movies were becoming popular. Discharged from the military back to the college campus I faded quietly into civilian life leaving the 'spy game' as part of my past heritage. Though instead of a college ring still prefer to wear my cryptology ring, and why not, not many know much about real spying or cryptology for that matter. Even when explained upon thier questioning, the attitude is generally one of 'whatever' or 'you cannot be serious'.

I read BERLIN GAME when it originally came out in 1984 and have re-read it several times.I'm always taken by the manner in which Deighton shows the business to not be a 'game' at all but rather for most people just another job.Hollywood would have us believe that guns and violence are part of the 'game', yet for legions of spy workers it is codes, ciphers, cryptology, Elint, printouts, code breaking, and just plain mundane office work.

Just as in wartime where only 1 in 10 as a rule experience combat, in the spy game most daily work is routinely administrative.Though I worked in the field no one ever took a shot at me, and no one ever tried to subvert me, no one even knew I was a spy.I was never a field agent as such, although I once had to turn down an offer to be one (no dropping behind enemy lines for me, thank you), and most people are never field agents anyway let alone are they ever to be near one either. So much for the celluloid 007 image of a spy and his or her network.

One of the reasons this book flows along slowly is that it was always planned as a trilogy thereby having adequate space for slow character development, and later ultimately ended up being 9 books plus WINTER in total.If a reader enjoys good character development, some WWII history, very subtle humor at times, and just a good story, then this series may well be for you.If, however, you are looking for the Ian Fleming or John Le Carre version of things then this may not be for you.(Yes, I have Fleming and Le Carre on my shelves too, but that is not necessarily the real spy world).

I enjoy Len Deighton for his fine writing style and in this series the everyday approach to the underworld of spying, though it is throughly British in outlook it would hold true for most spying, certainly Moscow Central.And as stated, Deighton's view of these goings on is closer to the real thing as I experienced it. Generally it is just a group of people engaged in doing a job day-after-day-after-day, granted mainly 24-hour days, no holidays.

You may live next door to a spy and never realize it.Spies do not advertise, plus the NTK (Need To Know) disqualifies most from knowing what you know or what you are privy to know yourself.Plus there are different categories or levels or types of clearances as Deighton points out (I held a Top Secret Crypto clearance).You would not have known I had been involved in intelligence gathering had I not told you. And I am just an average person, one of thousands, who if not for Cold War military service would certainly never been schooled in that manner.

As I finish this review many news services are discussing 10 Russian spies just arrested yesterday by the FBI-yes even at this late juncture nations still continue to spy on one another. Though Russia is in denial, spy activity will never end until the end of time.

Semper Fi.

3-0 out of 5 stars Of limited intelligence
Of course, it can be variously criticised, but if you're buying Deighton's spy fiction, you might want to think about having a look at the trilogies.And read them in order, too: 'Game, Set, Match' (3 stars); 'Hook, Line, Sinker' (3 1/2 stars); 'Faith, Hope, Charity' (2 1/2 stars).

Of course 'The Ipcress File' was a good book, as were 'Billion-Dollar Brain' and 'An Expensive Place to Die', perhaps 'Twinkle, Twinkle Little Spy' (re-issued under the seemingly equivalent title 'Catch a Falling Spy'). ('Spy Story' is really just the best title.)

2-0 out of 5 stars ok - if you haven't read 'the Spy Who Came in from the Cold'
The standard cold war plot after 'The Spy Who Came in from the Cold: 1) bring back an agent from the 'other side'; and, 2) there's traitor inside 'our' spy operations. As in detective stories the identity of the mole has to remain hidden until the very end. This creates the usual problems of characterization and plausibility: the writer can't draw too much attention to the 'criminal'. Deighton therefore chooses a subjective point of view of narration. Given the identity of the traitor in this novel, the hero's description of his family life (happily married and two children (non-existing, as far as the novel goes) has no sense of plausible realism to it and merely serves as a ploy to misdirect the reader.
Worse, his hero is supposed to have grown up in Berlin, but Deighton's forte is not rendering the experience of living in cold-war East Berlin, which merely serves as cardboard background.
But the dialogue is good, and the fact that the upperclass rich are the [...] gives compensatory satisfaction.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not Free SF Reader
Defectors and moles.

Len Deighton's Game, Set Match trilogy is of a similar style to John Le Carre's books about George Smiley.

A quiet, unassuming, unheroic and unprepossessing and sometimes overlooked spy is wasted in obscurity until someone realises he is the right man for the job to help out in a defection.

Life soon gets too adventurous for Bernard Samson when he realises there are problems in his own office with enemy spies.

Good, intelligent espionage fiction is to be found here.

1-0 out of 5 stars Berlin Game Sucks
Len Deighton's Berlin Game is very lame. It's the ONLY book that I stopped reading. It is boring; very boring!

John ... Read more

17. Yesterday's Spy
by Len Deighton
Paperback: Pages (1983-10)
list price: US$2.95 -- used & new: US$22.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 044630882X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Who betrayed Marius?
The book's narrator Charley (work name during WW II Charles Bonnard), was a very young SIS agent when he was dropped by submarine on the south coast of France. His brief was to make contact with the Communists, the only French deemed reliable at the time, and build a network of spies and helpers. Miraculously, the network survived until the end of the war, except for the French priest Marius, its leader, who was betrayed and killed by the Gestapo.
Times are turbulent in the early 1970s. The third Arab-Israeli war, the oil embargo, Olympic athletes killed and airplanes hijacked. Oil-rich Arab countries are expected to become rich beyond imagination.
Some 25 years later, the surviving members of the network are gravitating towards Nice. Not as a reunion party, but because of the career choices of some of its former members, who have kept a weary eye on each other ever since the war ended. When one former member of the wartime spy network is rumoured to help, and is perhaps already busy providing Arab countries with what they cherish most, powerful weapons, perhaps the ultimate one, Charley is ordered to investigate and insinuate his way into one of his former spy colleagues' new life and entourage...
This is a brilliantly plotted spy novel, which has not aged over time. Len Deighton (LD) has created a remarkable cast of people, including an abrasive US colonel who was involved with the WW II network, a former Gestapo investigator of the network turned spy for West Germany, the betrayed Marius' two sisters and the Jewish, Communist person whom Charley approached first in 1941.
Creating characters like Charley was LD's challenge to the credibility of the best known spies of the era, George Smiley and James Bond. Charley is working class, resourceful, weary and respects no one. His accent is that of Burnley, UK. He can pass for a bum or a successful businessman. He lives in bed-sits and chaotic flats.
Authentic background, great characters, good plot. But who betrayed Marius?

Finally, LD has written some 40 volumes of highly acclaimed fiction and faction about espionage and warfare. His WW II books are unsurpassed, e.g. SS/GB about the German occupation of GB. Fans, wherever you live, review his books, to keep him/them in print.

5-0 out of 5 stars Charlie, Harry, whoever he is, he's good company!
Deighton's mostly unidentified agent goes by the name of "Charlie" when he is identified in this book.It's a vintage Deighton book, a clever plot, lots of aptly described local color, some nice little aphorisms here and there and all of it wrapped in the charmingly well written, affable perspective of Deighton's man.I recommend it without reservation.

5-0 out of 5 stars Deighton at his best
A brilliant novel about espionage, treachery, murder and friendship. Although written during the early 1970s, the plot could be from contemporary newspaper stories about Arab terrorist groups. Plus, there are more twists and turns than roads from the Italian Alps into Switzerland. I do not want to spoil your read, so all I will say isdisregard the clues because nothing is as appears. Also, you will never guess the ending. So, just enjoy this tremendous novel.

Steve Champion, a former British intelligence agent and leader of the World War II "Guernica Network", an old Villefranche anti-Nazi intelligence group, is living in the south of France. Allegedly, Steve is retired and simply an avid stamp collector.

But, MI-6, the British foreign intelligence service, thinks Steve is secretly involved with Arab groups seeking to obtain nuclear weapons; and, an agent infiltrated into Champion's inner circle is missing. The only solution is to activate Charlie, one of Champion's wartime friends. Sounds easy except Charlie is not told the entire story and has to operate in the proverbial dark.

Excellent plotting, pacing, character development, settings, dialogue, etc, etc. Absolutely fascinating. Len Deighton at his best.

... Read more

18. Horse Under Water
by Len Deighton
 Paperback: 288 Pages (1987-01-29)

Isbn: 0586073949
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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The Ipcress File was a debut sensation. Here in the second Secret File, Horse under Water, skin-diving, drug trafficking and blackmail all feature in a curious story in which the dead hand of a long-defeated Hitler-Germany reaches out to Portugal, London and Marrakech, and to all the neo-Nazis of today's Europe.The detail is frightening but unfaultable; the story as up to date as ever it was. The un-named hero of The Ipcress File the same: insolent, fallible, capricious - in other words, human. But he must draw on all his abilities, good and bad, when plunged into a story of murder, betrayal and greed every bit as murky as the waters off the coast of Portugal, where the answers lie buried. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars Showdown in Albufeira, Portugal in the early 1960s
John Le Carré (JLC)'s and Len Deighton (LD)'s early 1960's spy novels have not aged much in human terms. They deal with (counter-) espionage against the backdrop of the Cold War. The heroes of both authors and from both sides sometimes go back to WW II. In view of the British-Soviet victory over Hitler Germany, there is even some lingering mutual respect, more often in LD's books than in JLC's. But much has changed since as regards technology.
The most charming evidence of the possible aging of spy novels of the early 1960s are the cars. In "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy", JLC's hero Jim Prideaux drives an 'Alvin' ("Best Car England ever Made"), in "Horse under Water", the nameless hero shakes off a tailing 'Ford Anglia', but finds another tail a 'Bristol 407' already parked opposite his flat. The hero's boss drives a 'Riley', described by LD as "Britain's answer to US space exploration". Thanks to Google these monuments to 1960s British engineering can be admired, and without doubt hundreds are today kept roadworthy by clubs of aficionados.
The nameless hero of this novel smokes Gauloise cigarettes and is serious about good coffee. He spent part of WW II in Portugal. He and his boss Dawlish work in a secret branch of the War Office called W.O.O.C (P), located in a shabby building in Charlotte Street in London. They will reappear in later books. In this novel, the hero is sent on a diving course in preparation for a venture that might yield a lot of possibly counterfeit money from a sunken German WW II submarine, which could be re-invested, budget-neutral, in a group intent on overthrowing the then-ruling Salazar dictatorship in Portugal. Its principal locations are London and Albufeira in Portugal's Algarve.

Apart from diving 40 meters deep, the anonymous hero is constantly trying to find out what is really at stake. And why it is him to find out? Claustrophobic readers should skip the probes into the dark interior of the massive U-Boot. Before and during the dives, the nameless hero is tailed, his messages are intercepted, and some of the associates forced on him, die. His mission objectives are vague and remain so. What is going on? Who is behind it all? No one seems to be who he claims to be. And some local connections go back to WW II, even to the Spanish civil war. Even the horse under water is not a horse... Many questions are raised and most of the answers are given in 58 brief chapters and six Appendixes.
Compulsive reading, lots of history and WW II anecdote with some flippancy about UK's higher circles. Nice read.

4-0 out of 5 stars "Aquarius" Returns
This follow-up is more conventional than IPCRESS File, a lot less stylish, but still well-written and involving.Here the agent later dubbed "Harry Palmer" gets mixed up with drugs, counterfeiting and some left-over Nazis. The first half has the feel of an Alistair McLean novel, as he leads a group on a salvage operation at sea. Later things get more convoluted as we get to the finale.

The best part of the book comes as the hero bolts the scene of an ambush where a colleague is killed. He then gives a bold testimonial of how for him it's never personal. It's a cynical variation on the Hawksian notion for an espionage novel, and reflecting thinking that in today's books and films is entirely gone.

5-0 out of 5 stars HODGE PODGE OF A NOVEL

This novel from January, 1968, is a hodge podge of possible revolution, a sunken submarine with millions, and a wonder machine full of power possibilities.It may be dated as some would say, yet if you like me, enjoy most things by Len Deighton then you will want to read this book.

I came upon this hardcover back in 1980, for .50 cents on a AAUW booksale table, and have it still in my home library. It is one of several he wrote that really does not fit the general 'mold' yet as a blurb on the dust jacket says it "is vintage Deighton".

The novel also contains skin diving, drug trafficking, and blackmail with the hand of Hitler's defeated Germany in the midst of all.The action stretches from Portugal to London to Marrakesh. No small canvass for Mr. Deighton but a canvass he covers with usual aplomb very well.This world is of course one of international espionage.I notice on the dust jacket that mine is a "Third Printing" so 'someones' somewhere must have similiar feelings such as mine that this is a interesting novel.

Semper Fi.

4-0 out of 5 stars The spy with no name is back ...
... and this time heads for deep waters. This was written around the same time as "The Ipcress File". It is well written with enough twists and turns to keep you reading to the end. Sometimes it flounders about but nonetheless keeps its head abover water. "The Ipcress File" and "Funeral in Berlin" have more more depth and character development but "Horse Under Water" holds its own.

The spy with no name became "Harry Palmer" in the films which starred Michael Caine. This novel was next in line to be filmed but apparently the dissappointing box office of Ken Russell's "The Billion Dollar Brain" -- an eccentric but entertaining version of the book -- led to the demise of the film series. To bad. "Horse Under Water" has the makings of a fine drama.

2-0 out of 5 stars Does Not Hold Up to The Passage of Time
This is a fairly old book and it does not hold up well to the passage of time. I would suggest you move one to another book unless the particular plot is something you are really interested in or you want to cover all of the authors work. I would say that the book is as well written as most of his other work, but that characters and plot do not get as much development as his later efforts. ... Read more

19. An Expensive Place to Die
by Len Deighton
 Mass Market Paperback: Pages (1995)

Isbn: 0007652003
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (4)

3-0 out of 5 stars A Muddled Mess
I've read Len Deighton's spy novels in the past, but somehow I never came across this one before. I think I know why: it's one of his lesser works, definitely not as good as the Bernard Samson novels or some of his World War II books. While Deighton is a good author, this (one of his earlier efforts) is largely forgettable.

The story begins with our hero (who remains nameless throughout the book) living in Paris. We spend 30 or 40 pages with him, playing Monopoly in French, going to parties, drinking with his friend and eccentric painter, and various other mundane activities, before the plot begins. You don't ever really get a hold on what the espionage part of the plot is actually about: instead, it's all very murky and uncertain, and the author leaves you wondering about everything that occurs. Finally, when one of the characters gets killed, things begin to become more interesting, but then the plot takes some confusing turns again, without the author giving you any help as to what's going on. The nameless hero apparently works for some intelligence organization, but you never really know who, or what he's supposed to be doing: everything just happens.

There are some good moments in the book, and good quotes. My favorite is when one of the characters intones that "Rich people who give away money need to be quite sure they're not trying to buy something." The scenes early in the book when the characters are playing Monopoly in French are rather fun. That being said, the book is rather silly and overwritten, and I didn't enjoy it that much...

4-0 out of 5 stars Deighton's detail and panache carry his plot
I liked this book but I think the plot was a bit hard to accept at points.I very much enjoy Deighton's authorial voice for his nameless protagonist and this made it quite enjoyable for me.I find his writing style very appealing.But the plot of this particular story wasn't entirely convincing.

4-0 out of 5 stars good not great
A good book but difficult to follow at times,I wanted light recreational reading but this seemed almost like a textbook at times,worth reading but not his best.

On the whole, I am a fan of most of Len Deighton's later works particularly all nine of the Bernard Samson Novels.I think that reading one of an author's early novels after having read, and enjoyed, much of his later work, leaves you ripe for a little disappointment.That was my reaction here.He just hadn't completely found his "voice" in this novel which was originally published in 1966, well before those nine Bernard Samson novels I mentioned earlier (Copyright dates 1984 through 1996).

I found the plot unnecessarily complex.It starts with an anonymous spy, residing in Paris, who receives a bundle of documents from a courier with the instructions to deliver them to a man he knows as Datt.But he is not do just deliver them at a convenient time or place.This would be too easy.He is to keep them until Datt gets them from him in his (Datt's) own time and by whatever method Datt decides on.Datt's method involves kidnapping him, injecting him with "truth serum." and having the documents stolen from his room while he is so detained.An interesting delivery, indeed!

This is the beginning of the the United States deliberate revelation of certain Nuclear Weaponry information, or perhaps well disguised misinformation, to representatives of the Chinese Communist government.

During the course of __AN EXPENSIVE PLACE TO DIE__, there are kidnappings, murders, scenes in a high end brothel that caters to diplomats, where dossiers on these diplomats are developed, and where films are made of them in compromising positions.There are surprises, double-crosses, and unexpected revelations around every corner before we finallly sort out the good(?) guys from the bad (also ?) guys.

If you like Len Deighton's later novels, this is a good book to read from the standpoint of seeing how much he developed as a spy novelist through the years, and it certainly contains the seeds of many of the themes he developed in his later novels.

In the words of a current movie critic, "I give it a moderate thumbs up." ... Read more

20. Goodbye Mickey Mouse
by Len Deighton
 Paperback: Pages (1996)
-- used & new: US$33.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B001KRQS1W
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars The best book on air combat ever written
I am a pilot and when I read this book many years ago I was very taken with it,one of the few booksI have read more than once. Read it and you will swear you lived during the time a P-51 was king of the air!Fantastic book, a classic and a must read for. Pilot or someone that has an interest in being one.Well done mate!

1-0 out of 5 stars Not worth the time
For anyone who thinks this book is about flying P-51s in combat: it's not. It's about the lives of the men who flew P-51s in combat--and mostly, it's about the lives of those men on the ground. Which would be fine, in a way, so long as it made any sense.

The book begins with an old couple wandering over the remains of an American fighter base in East Anglia, reminiscing about the war years. You're supposed to wonder who this couple is...which of the book's characters survives and comes back to England years later? And when you finally do find out, the answer is absurd: there is no foreshadowing of any kind to suggest this couple would, or even could, wind up married. Nothing but Deighton's whim. It's reminiscent of the ending of his novel "Winter," which simply ends without tying up a single loose thread, as though he became bored and tossed it in a dumpster. But first, you have to slog through hundreds of pages to reach the let-down.

I cannot speak for the accuracy of the flying scenes, because I have no personal experience or knowledge of piloting an airplane in combat. But I can say that those scenes are few and far between, and this book doesn't leave you with the feeling that you've lived through the experience. Don't make the mistake of thinking this is a "techno-thriller" in the vein of Tom Clancy's books, thin on characterization but rich in technical detail. It's almost nothing BUT characterization, and hackneyed characterization at that: all tangled relationships and war-weariness. If that's what you're after, read it. If not, stick to non-fiction.

1-0 out of 5 stars A Clunker
Don't bother fastening your safety belt because this book doesn't even make as far as the runway.The dialogue works like sugar in the fuel tank, clogging the plot before it has a chance to warm up.I couldn't get beyond page forty.But don't let this clunker put you off Deighton.

5-0 out of 5 stars A story of fighter pilots, cheaters and revenge, sadly, but grippingly told.
As a onetime fighter pilot, I believe the technical accuracy of Deighton's story is unsurpassed. Woven into the story about a wartime romance area domineering father, an accomplished airborne killer, a sad tart, a vengeful husband and an absolute phony.Couple this story with Leighton's Bomber and the reader will have a feel for aerial warfare over Europe as seen from both sides.

5-0 out of 5 stars If you liked 12 O'clock high....
Based on the recommendation of a friend I bought a copy of this book - rather than tell you the plot (and spoil it for you) - the book deals with the tactics (and perils) of the fighterpilots of the 8th AAF - and the book starts out like 12 O'clock High with a nostalgic visit to an abandoned airfield in East Anglia.

One is reminded of the horrible causality rate of fliers in that war - the author did a lot of interviews with veterans.

In short one gets a good glimpse into the life of a serviceman - in combat and back at base - during those times in WW2.

It was a page-turner for me - hard to put down.

In reading the of Deighton's other works, I learned that he wrote a fiction called SS-GB - also recommended. I read that years ago about a fictionalized account of the Nazis beating Britain and the accounts of the SS in the UK 20 years later - a good mystery. ... Read more

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