HOPE by Len Deighton


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 Deighton artfully fills in more blanks in the long-running saga of British espionage agent Bernard Samson, the protagonist in two earlier trilogies and the featured attraction of this sequel to Faith (1995). It's the fall of 1987, and Bernard has taken arms against a sea of troubles. His wife Fiona (a fellow spy)--now back from East Germany, where she penetrated the Stasi as a sham defector--is behaving oddly, and her return has obliged him to dump Gloria, a luscious Hungarian operative with whom he's been making soul- satisfying whoopee. Meanwhile, Bernard's brother-in-law George Kosinski has gone missing. Married to Fiona's sister Tessa (apparently killed in Berlin during the former's flight back to the West), George is a wealthy, first-generation Englishman of affairs. His disappearance triggers alarms and excursions at London Central, where Bernard's Oxbridge-educated masters decree that the suspected runaway must be located. With inept assistance from his twitty but ruthlessly ambitious boss, Dickey Cruyer, Bernard tracks his quarry through the back alleys of Zurich and Warsaw to a down-at-heels estate near the Polish/Russian frontier, where the elusive George still has family. Presented with grisly physical evidence of George's death, the credulous Dickey calls a halt to the search. Once back in the UK, Bernard (who puts no stock in the official version of George's fate) is reassigned to his old stamping ground in Berlin, where the opposition takes its best shot at him. Recalled to London after George's been spotted alive and well in the homeland of his parents, world-weary Bernard goes back to winter-bound Poland to oversee a daring extraction designed to bring him and a suspected turncoat home free. Vivid, class-conscious characters whose fond pageants play out amidst the workaday deceits of the intelligence game, plus plot twists and violent action galore: one of the more absorbing entries in Deighton's ongoing series. (First printing of 70,000; Literary Guild alternate selection; $175,000 ad/promo)

Pub Date: Jan. 3rd, 1996
ISBN: 0-06-017696-2
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 1995


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