THE RUSSIAN ENIGMA by Clive Egleton

THE RUSSIAN ENIGMA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Less inventive than the so-so Eisenhower Deception (1981), this sequel moves SIS chief Charles Winter ahead from the mid-'50s to the very early '60s. And the standard SIS/CIA/KGB criss-crossings get underway when SIS double-agent George Deakin is found suspiciously drowned. Was he killed by the KGB? Because they found out he was really loyal to Britain? Or because he knew too much . . . about what? And what's the connection--if any--between Deakin's death (soon followed by his estranged wife's near-fatal accident) and the close-call defection of KGB spymaster Korznikov in N.Y.? The Russians have some big secret, it seems, that they're out to keep under wraps at all costs. (Assorted attempts are made on Korznikov's life.) Or could it be, as Winter comes to believe, that Korznikov is a KGB plant? So it goes--with SIS agents burrowing into Deakin's heavily-documented past for clues . . . while Winter and his assistants head over to America to observe (at some peril) the interrogation of Korznikov. Buf though the background here is the building US/Cuba missile crisis, Egleton fails-to interweave the spying with the history effectively. And the Big Secrets behind the Deakin death and Korznikov defection (one of which is revealed only on the last page) are either flatly derivative or thinly gimmicky. Only for undiscriminating devotees of imitation-Lc CarrÉ, then--especially since Winter is less crisply characterized this time around, with diffuse attention given to a large, bland supporting cast of button-down spies.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1982
Publisher: Atheneum