How to Betray Your Country

James Wolff. Bitter Lemon, $14.95 trade paper (310p) ISBN 978-1-913394-51-6
Wolff’s brilliant sequel to 2018’s Beside the Syrian Sea finds August Drummond, whose wife recently died in a traffic accident, sacked by British intelligence after striking a fellow officer during an inquest into August’s possible culpability in a series of Robin Hood incidents using classified material for the greater good. On a plane to Istanbul, where August is headed for a lackluster new job, he spots a fellow passenger who’s acting like an Islamic State recruit. On a whim, August assumes the man’s identity when he’s arrested at the airport. Securing a message that the hapless man has discarded, August goes to the assigned meeting place and ends up on a private quest to infiltrate what he assumes is an IS operation. His seeming competence begins to fail him as his obsession with his wife’s death and his recourse to alcohol take their toll. August narrates his own downfall, allowing readers to be as surprised as him when events take unexpected turns. Memos and communiques from British intelligence officials fill in the backstory. In August, Wolff skillfully portrays an espionage agent on the verge of losing himself to his demons. This is spy fiction like no other. (May)
Reviewed on : 03/01/2021
Release date: 04/30/2021
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Open Ebook - 978-1-913394-52-3
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