THE DOUBLE IMAGE by Helen MacInnes


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The large audience the author won and has retained since the days of Above Suspicion and Assignment in Brittany will get a workout here. They may emerge with their loyalty intact but their patience tried. It takes considerable patience to follow on a printed page so many talky characters so minimally introduced in a maelstrom of shifting scenes. Film is the medium best suited to the technique and would also improve the slow pace. This is espionage/light love, much more innocent, both technically and philosophically, than the reading level of current favorites like Le Carre and Deighton. The setting is Paris and Mykonos, an island off Greece. John Craig is the hero, a professional historian hastily recruited to counterespionage work. The quarry is superprofessional Heinrich Berg, who had been working for the Russians while achieving status among the directors of the Nazi gas ovens so that he could select potential enemies of Communism for disposal. The girl is Veronica, non-affiliated politically and a full time nonentity in the novel. Everyone talks too much and moves too slowly until the speechmaking confrontation scene in the full blown tradition of a genre that has always had more popularity than critical acclaim.

Publisher: Harcourt, Brace & World