Spy Shadow

Tim Sebastian, Author
Tim Sebastian, Author Delacorte Press $19.95 (318p) ISBN 978-0-385-29880-3
Reviewed on: 03/31/1990
Release date: 04/01/1990
How to write a Cold War spy thriller in these days of perestroika ? Sebastian sustains what might have seemed an endangered genre, abetted by a last-minute postponement of publication date that allowed him to update the book in light of the political changes in Eastern Europe. The result is an extraordinarily timely and engaging story. James Tristram is an aging secret operative constructed on the George Smiley model--soft of body but sharp of mind. Sent by English spymaster Cornish to aid an uprising against the Polish government and its Russian sponsors, Tristram discovers the mission is a ploy. The real plot, concocted by Russian Stalinists with the aid of a long-time mole in the British secret service, aims to discredit the government of the Gorbachev-like general secretary of the Russian Communist Party. Appalled, Tristram sets out on a lonely effort to prevent the destruction of the Polish underground and the discrediting of the reformers. Sebastian, a BBC correspondent and author of the well-received The Spy in Question , delivers a gripping, literate thriller with the punch of a headline and the texture of real life. (May)
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