Unputdownable narrative of spying, sexual intrigue, political scandal, and murder... a haunting novel transcending the bounds of genre fiction." --A. N. Wilson, The Daily Telegraph
"[Lawton's] work stands head and shoulders above most other contemporary thrillers, earning those comparisons to Le Carré." --Clea Simon, The Boston Globe
The latest novel from the master spy novelist John Lawton follows Inspector Troy, now Scotland Yard's chief detective, deep into a scandal reminiscent of the infamous Profumo affair.
England in 1963 is a country set to explode. The old guard, shocked by the habits of the war baby youth, sets out to fight back. The battle reaches uncomfortably close to Troy. While he is on medical leave, the Yard brings charges against an acquaintance of his, a hedonistic doctor with a penchant for voyeurism and young women, two of whom just happen to
be sleeping with a senior man at the Foreign Office as well as a KGB agent.
But on the eve of the verdict a curious double case of suicide drags Troy back into active duty. Beyond bedroom acrobatics, the secret affairs now stretch to double crosses and deals in the halls of power, not to mention murder. It's all Troy can do to stay afloat in a country immersed in drugs and up to its neck in scandal.
London in the swinging '60s provides the setting for this latest in Lawton's series featuring Scotland Yard lawman Frederick Troy. Troy finds himself a reluctant attendee at several country weekends where a flashy acquaintance, Dr. Patrick Fitzpatrick, holds sybaritic court. The aristocratic Troy has been, equally reluctantly, attempting to acclimate himself to the wide-open atmosphere of the new England, a country in the grip of a seismic social and sexual upheaval. Fitz and several government cronies have been shagging a pair of beautiful twins, the Ffitch sisters, and the equally lovely but underage Clover Browne. When Fitz is arrested for "immoral earnings and procurement," Troy escapes the media spotlight, confined to a sanatorium with a nasty case of tuberculosis. Troy rallies to investigate after several participants in the Fitz scandal are found dead. The whodunit phase takes several hundred pages to ignite, but Lawton is such an entertaining, literate storyteller it doesn't really matter. Once the now frail Troy steps in, neither threats, beatings, near-drowning nor shooting can frighten him off the case. New readers who fall under the considerable spell of the indefatigable Troy can seek out earlier adventures, Black Out, Old Flames, Riptide, Flesh Wounds and Bluffing Mr. Churchill.
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February 07, 2007
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