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Published 1978 by Cape
Black cloth, silver titles
Dust jacket priced at £4.95
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|Len Deighton's encyclopedic knowledge of the Second World War was demonstrated in his best-seller, Fighter, which revised many previously-held opinions about 1940 and the Battle of Britain. His earlier book, Bomber, although fiction, also provided a detailed study of day to day life in Nazi Germany.
Combining careful historical research with a narrative genius that has made his novels world-wide successes, he has now written his most important and original book to date. And it is a spy story, set in 1941, with the Nazis at the high-tide of victory.
Almost nine months have passed since ail British forces surrendered and the German occupation has settled into an ordered routine. In a blitzed London, with its oil-shops and kitchen maids, its trams and horse-drawn carts, a young English police detective finds himself involved in an espionage battle for which he is ill-prepared. The stakes are high '. . . not even the Black Death would compare with the consequences,' remarks the Byzantine SS Standartenfiihrer. 'At least, that's what my experts tell me.'
As always with a Len Deighton story, it is the cast of characters that haunts the mind: the wealthy collaborators, the elderly SS General who kills by kindness, the American divorcee writing for still-neutral newspapers back home, and the elegant English secret service chief who, 'when he says he'll risk anything, means he'll risk you'.
You will find this spy story totally different from any other spy story you have ever read. Only Len Deighton could have written it.