THE DEFECTOR by Evelyn Anthony


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Veteran romance-suspenser Anthony continues to sharpen her talents--and this East/West espionage, with echoes of The Spy Who Came In From the Cold, is one of her best. Anthony's heroine is Davina Graham, personal assistant to British Intelligence chief James White, and Davina's current assignment is the debriefing of Colonel Ivan Sasanov, a top KGB defector. But Davina's work with Sasanov is full of conflict: despite six months of coddling at a secret retreat, the defector has refused to give over some crucial information on the USSR strategy in the Mideast (he keeps demanding that his wife and daughter be brought out of Russia); and worse yet, Sasanov and Davina have slowly fallen in love, despite her no-nonsense self-image. Then, when the secret retreat is firebombed, the situation intensifies--especially since Sasanov has now learned that his wife has been shipped to the frigid, killing Kolyma region by sadistic KGB chief Volkov. . . who is also in the process of seducing Sasanov's daughter Irina. So the British at last mount an operation to rescue the wife and daughter: Davina is part of the team (though this mission will mean the end of her affair), along with her seedy, boozy chum Peter Harrington and brilliant Jeremy Spencer-Barr. But while this trio heads for Moscow, Sasanov's daughter Irina discovers that Volkov has gotten wind of the whole British Intelligence plan! And once Irina forwards this discovery to Davina, it's clear that one of Davina's two team-mates is a KGB mole. But which one? And will Davina kill the mole before he sets her up for capture and interrogation by the KGB? The ending is something of a let-down (a romantic, implausibly happy twist), but otherwise this is classy spy-intrigue--tougher-minded than Anthony's early damsel-in-distress items and more tightly convincing than the recent work of Helen MacInnes.

Pub Date: July 22nd, 1981
Publisher: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan