Len Deighton

Yesterday's Spy

UK First Edition Book & Synopsis

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Published 1975 by Cape
Brown cloth, gilt titles
Dust jacket priced at
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Len Deighton

Len Deighton - Yesterdays Spy

SYNOPSIS

People like Steve Champion used to be called heroes, but heroes are out of fashion in the intelligence world. The crazy effrontery of the smooth-talking loner, who played his hunches and was impossibly lucky, has been replaced by the computer-like efficiency of great corporate departments where confident bullies like Colonel Schlegel push the buttons and circumspect bureaucrats like Dawlish tidy up afterwards. Champion's file had been reopened, and from somewhere in that soulless departmental machine came the official opinion that he was up to something much too big this time; and, as his old wartime friend, I was the only man who could get to the bottom of it. It all happened the way I knew it would if I went back to Nice on Steve Champion's trail. The memories crowded in on me, bringing back those magic days when the two of us operated the anti-Nazi intelligence network our of Yillefranche, when and I'm never allowed to forget it Champion saved my life. Serge Frankel was still there, the reliable old communist Jew so many regiments had locked away, still quietly dealing in stamps, yet always enigmatically linked with whatever was going on underground. It was his opinion that Champion had promised to sell the Arabs the only thing their money hadn't yet been able to buy, The 'Princess', who had telephoned the resistance network messages out of Ville-franche, still ran the brothel where I first met Champion, serving her relabelled champagne from dusty, fly-specked bottles. Claude I'avocat, that mercurial enemy of the network, turned up with the same irritating regularity as he had in wartime. But most disconcerting was Champion himself, charming, slippery and two-faced as ever, always at least one step ahead of anyone trying to trace his movements. From his fortress at the old Tix quarry in the hills outside Nice he was running an empire more elaborate with a goal more far-reaching than even, Schlegel could have suspected

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