cover image Spy Sinker

Spy Sinker

Len Deighton, Len Dieghton. HarperCollins Publishers, $21.95 (374pp) ISBN 978-0-06-039118-8

The final volume in Deighton's hook, line and sinker espionage trilogy will likely disappoint even his staunchest fans with its passionless, unsuspenseful scenario for explaining the political liberation of Eastern Europe at the end of the '80s. Bernard Sampson, protagonist of the earlier books, here steps backstage as his wife, Fiona, defects to East Germany after being groomed as a double agent. In place, Fiona is set to implement a plan facilitating the westward defection of East German professionals, leaving a gap in the economic structure which is expected to defeat the Communist regime. Fiona's abandonment of her husband and two young children occurs with little drama or conflict, and is a move no more convincing than the doubts Deighton later visits upon her. The plan conceived by Bret Rensselaer, deputy controller of European economics for Britain's SIS, to dismantle the Wall is intriguing and plausible, but its fictional execution is without force. At his best with action scenes, Deighton gives us too few; only those that begin and end his tale ring with excitement and suspense. 250,000 first printing; $250,000 ad/promo. (Sept.)