Written by Gerald Seymour, the author of Harry's Game, The Outsiders describes how Winnie Monks has never forgotten - or forgiven - the death of an agent on her team at the hands of a former Russian Army Major.
Years later, she hears the Major is travelling to the Costa del Sol and sends in a surveillance unit to spy on him... They find a perfect base to spy from that will also be ideal for Winnie's darker, less official, plans but it turns out the property isn't deserted. The owners have invited young British couple Jonno and Posie to housesit while they are away.
The new couple are supposed to be on a carefree break in the sun, but everything changes when the Secret Services team arrives...
Winnie Monks, a cynical, maverick, middle-ranking spy, reforms a group she once led, with the sole purpose of catching the killer of one of their number some years before. It sounds like it could be a fairly run-of-the-mill book, but Seymour skilfully moves the action from one group of characters to another and back again, (you never have to flick back to check who someone is!) making this book very hard to put down. I don't want to give away the plot (the Book People notes are all you need) but this book is up there with Lecarre and I was disappointed that this appears to be the first book featuring Winnie Monks. Although she isn't quite on a par with George Smiley, with all due respect to Len Deighton, I think she could have the makings of a female Bernie Samson and I hope that Gerald Seymour takes us back to her early career in his next book. If you like a fast paced, spy book, with an unpredictable ending, or you just want a great read for your holiday, then this is for you.
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