cover image Spy Line

Spy Line

Len Deighton. Alfred A. Knopf, $18.95 (291pp) ISBN 978-0-394-55179-1

Deighton's novels Berlin Game , Mexico Set and London Match initiated the stories about British secret agent Bernard Samson, whose wife Fiona has defected to the U.S.S.R. As narrated by Samson, the three tales are intensely exciting, a quality that continued at high pitch in Spy Hook , the first volume in the new trilogy. This is the second, opening with Samson in Berlin, a fugitive from England where the intelligence service accused him of spying for the Soviets. With the CIA and KGB also menacing him, Samson is suddenly cleared of the charge of treason and returned to London and to warm welcomes from colleagues, his lover Gloria and his children. The situation changes, however, when he's sent on a ``simple'' mission to Vienna and a deep-cover meeting with Fiona. In the resulting events, the loyal agent's safety becomes even more tenuous than it was during his darkest days in Berlin. Maintaining unrelenting tension and chronicling an escalation of intrigue and violent death, the new thriller will make readers eager for the answers in the next. 200,000 first printing; BOMC selection. (Dec.)