From Publishers Weekly
Deighton's beleaguered British spy, Bernard Samson, returns to kick off the third trilogy in the outstanding series that has run from 1984's Berlin Game through 1990's Spy Sinker. Taking up where Sinker left off, in the fall of 1987 (thus making Deighton perhaps the only major thriller author who's still writing about the Cold War), this rich entry finds Samson leaving California to pick up VERDI, code name for a high-ranking East German Stasi officer who may be defecting to Britain's SIS. The operation goes disastrously wrong during a shoot-out in East Germany, but Samson manages to get back to London, where he encounters real danger and fighting: the take-no-prisoners politicking within the SIS, involving Samson, his duplicitous wife and a slew of internal enemies and possible friends. Deighton's penchant for explosive violence, telling detail and throwaway humor are much in evidence here, and readers will enjoy some of the finest intramural politicking since C.P. Snow. What's more problematic is whether they'll relish a tale set in the Cold War and thus lacking the unpredictability of stories set in the post-Soviet world or the nostalgia of those evoking less recent wars, like Deighton's own SS-GB. Given the author's mastery of the genre, though, the odds are that they will, strongly.
Samson is in trouble again.Only in 1987 the enemy isn't as obvious as it once was. His wife Fiona back after years on the "other side" is sophisticated enough to pick up on his affair with Gloria and she's not taking it well;his children have been grabbed by his arrogant father-in-law; and his boss Dicky,warns that Samson's employment future looks dim.
Suddenly Samson is yanked from California and sent to roam the grim streets of Magdeburg, on a secret mission that backfires. And the worst scandal in the Department's history looks about to bury them alive. Everyone is grabbin for that one last shred of glory and Samson is caught in the maw of fate. On the line are simply his job,his ethics,his past and the two woemen he loves. With no one to confide in and nothing to rely on, he's got only one thing left-faith