Born in London, Len Deighton served in the RAF before graduating from the Royal College of Art (which recently elected him a Senior Fellow). While in New York City working as a magazine illustrator he began writing his first novel, The Ipcress File, which was published in 1962. He is now the author of more than thirty books of fiction and non-fiction. At present living in Europe, he has, over the years, lived with his family in ten different countries from Austria to Portugal.
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.)
'All done with the chilling competence we expect from Mr Deighton... No padding, no slowing of pace, and writing is crisp and brutal' Daily Telegraph 'Dazzling ingenuity and cleverness' Independent 'A remarkable feat' Sunday Express