Tag Archives: Spies

An Ambler for ‘The 1938 Club’

1938 club

Cause for Alarm by Eric Ambler This week Simon and Karen are hosting their second selected year reading club – and after 1924 last time, 1938 was the year they chose. 1938 is particularly interesting because of the political situation building up to WWII , and the novel I chose to read encapsulates those worries perfectly. Eric Ambler was a pioneer of the spy… Read more »

The Slow Horses meet the Real Tigers

real tigers

Real Tigers by Mick Herron This is the third of Mick Herron’s ‘Slough House’ spy novels, following Slow Horses and Dead Lions. Previously, I’d only read the first, Slow Horses (reviewed here), but found that it was alright to jump to the third; the references to the second novel are few and don’t affect the reading of Real Tigers –… Read more »

A post Cold-War spy drama

A Spy’s Life by Henry Porter Many moons ago I read Henry Porter’s first novel Rememberance Day (2000) which was a fast-moving spy thriller and I enjoyed it very much indeed. Finally, years later, I’ve read his second – another standalone spy-thriller about an ex-spy who finds out that you can never truly leave your former life behind. British ex-spook Robert… Read more »

Echoes of Le Carré with a sense of humour …

slow horses

Slow Horses by Mick Herron The other night I was meant to be going to my local bookshop Mostly Books for an event with Mick Herron, winner of the 2013 CWA Gold Dagger for his novel Dead Lions. Instead I ended up in MIU with my daughter who managed to break the fifth metatarsal in her left foot when she fell over on a school… Read more »

A true story of the Russian Revolution

Blood Red Snow White by Marcus Sedgwick There has been renewed interest in the beloved children’s author Arthur Ransome lately due to the publication of a new biography: The Last Englishman by Roland Chambers. What many people don’t know is that years before he wrote the children’s classics, including Swallows and Amazons, for which he is so fondly remembered, he… Read more »

Good Clean Spy Fun – with a spot of murder, and a good dose of drugs …

The Mask of Dimitrios by Eric Ambler When I saw that Penguin were reissuing five of Ambler’s novels in their Modern Classics series, the choice of which to read first was easy – I picked The Mask of Dimitrios. Apart from having been published during the same year as Chandler’s The Big Sleep, this novel is famous for being the… Read more »

What did mother do in the war?

The Spy Game by Georgina Harding The direct gaze of the woman sipping a cup of tea on the dustjacket of the UK hardback really caught my eye – a spendid cover and evocative title too. Reading the blurb, I fully expected an espionage story straight out of John Le Carre, but this thoughtful and slow-burning novel is something completely… Read more »