June 15, 2009

HAMMOCK FODDER:

Five Best: These spy tales are unsurpassed, says novelist Alan Furst (Alan Furst, 6/15/09, WSJ)

2 The Miernik Dossier By Charles McCarry
Saturday Review Press, 1973

With “The Miernik Dossier,” Charles McCarry introduced us to Paul Christopher, the brilliant and sensitive CIA officer who would appear in a series of perhaps more widely known novels, such as “The Secret Lovers” and “Second Sight.” The book itself is the “dossier” in question: the reports and memoranda filed by a quintet of mutually mistrustful espionage agents, including a seductive Hungarian princess and a seemingly hapless Polish scientist, who undertake to drive from Switzerland to the Sudan in a Cadillac. It is a travelogue that bristles with suspicion and deception—but don’t listen to me, listen to a certain highly acclaimed spy novelist who reviewed McCarry’s literary debut: “The level of reality it achieves is high indeed; it is superbly constructed, wholly convincing, and displays insights that are distinctly refreshing. A new and very welcome talent.” Good call, Eric Ambler.


Two that belong here: anything by Gerald Seymour, but Archangel in particular; and Kolymsky Heights by Lionel Davidson.



Posted by Orrin Judd at June 15, 2009 12:37 PM
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