THE SEARCH FOR ANDERSON by I. I. Magdalen

THE SEARCH FOR ANDERSON

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Circa 1963, British agent Derek Flaye (the crisp narrator here) is hailed on the street by his old spy-master, retired Major Bill Hazlegrave--who addresses Derek as ""Anderson,"" hands him a brown envelope, says ""Got to do this for me,"" and hurries away! But who is Anderson? And what is it that Derek is supposed to do for the Major? Well, Derek determinedly starts sleuthing--especially when he promptly hears that the Major is dead, shot during a hijacking in Yugoslavia; and his only clue, a prep-school brochure in that brown envelope, puts him on the trail of Jamie Anderson--a pre-WW II spy recruit who supposedly died in a Swiss avalanche . . . but really went deep-cover into Europe. Derek reconstructs Anderson's path, with a sidetrip to Brazil; assorted bodies and attempted-murders turn up. And finally Derek locates Anderson in Czechoslovakia: he's now Colonel Gleb Strukh, a member of the Red Army's ""loyalist intelligent center,"" and a would-be defector. But, once Derek has perilously helped Anderson/Strukh to defect, there are a slew of headache-y questions to be resolved back in England: who's the double-agent? who's the double-double-agent? Etc. Breezily told (Derek is a boorish, bigoted, macho sort) yet anything but breezy in its gnarled, thin, imitation-Le CarrÉ plot: only for highly tolerant fanciers of the spy-puzzle genre.

Pub Date: Oct. 21st, 1982
Publisher: St. Martin's