Get back out into the cold, Mr. Le Carre. Get that car out of the way, James. Step aside spy spoofs, The Naked Runner is afoot and sprinting for best sellerdom. Maybe half a length behind Graham Greene, Mr. Clifford uses the same effective approach; his good bad and bad good guys are dedicated, driven men, possessed by the omnipresent evil labelled the Cold War. And they are civilized or demonic as the occasion warrants. This time their attention is riveted on Sam Laker, civilian, widower, father and veteran of WWII intelligence. Sam has been coerced into performing a simple mission for his former superior. He is to deliver a message to an agent in Leipzig, East Germany. The ""simple mission"" is complicated by the fact that the agent turns out to be Karen, a wartime comrade whom he had loved and left for dead some twenty years before. And someone (Karen?) is a betrayer. Sam is caught and turned into a Communist pawn, forced to act as their assassin with his son's life as forfeit. The scene moves rapidly from Leipzig to Copenhagen and back as Sam agonizes in his buffer state. His frustration and despair is real and moving as the suspense mounts right up to the final surprise. No gimmicks, Mr. Clifford is simply a fine storyteller. A Literary Guild Selection.