Hammer to Fall (Paperback)John Lawton (author)
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It's London, the swinging sixties, and by rights MI6 spy Joe Wilderness should be having as good a time as James Bond. But alas, in the wake of an embarrassing disaster for MI6, Wilderness has been posted to remote northern Finland in a cultural exchange program to promote Britain abroad. Bored by his work, with nothing to spy on, Wilderness finds another way to make money: smuggling vodka across the border into the USSR. He strikes a deal with old KGB pal Kostya, who explains to him there is a vodka shortage in the Soviet Union - but there is something fishy about Kostya's sudden appearance in Finland and intelligence from London points to a connection to cobalt mining in the region, a critical component in the casing of the atomic bomb. Wilderness's posting is getting more interesting by the minute, but more dangerous too.
Moving from the no-man's-land of Cold War Finland to the wild days of the Prague Spring, and populated by old friends (including Inspector Troy) and old enemies alike, Hammer to Fall is a gripping tale of deception and skulduggery, of art and politics, a page-turning story of the always riveting life of the British spy.
Publisher: Grove Press / Atlantic Monthly Press
Number of pages: 400
Weight: 279 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 24 mm
It's a blast...all the elements coalesce for the superbly tense showdown * The Times *
An entertaining read, with an intelligent backdrop of cold-war geopolitics. * Financial Times *
Those of you who like your fiction based firmly in historical fact, with walk-on parts from the great and the good of the age, scattered with literary, political and cultural references and frequently hilarious to boot, are in for a real treat...This book and its predecessors are such a valuable tonic in these dark times. * Shots *
A delight. Lawton's ongoing recreation of Cold War chicanery is one of the great pleasures of modern spy fiction. -- Mick Herron
John Lawton finds himself in the same boat as the late Patrick O'Brian - a sublimely elegant historical novelist as addictive as crack but overlooked by too many readers for too long. * Daily Telegraph *
John Lawton's books contain such a wealth of period detail, character description and background information that they are lifted out of any category. Every word is enriched by the author's sophistication and irreverent intelligence, by his meticulous research and his wit. * Literary Review *
Lawton's gift for memorable atmosphere and characters, intelligent plotting and wry prose put him solidly at the top of anyone's A-list of contemporary spy novelists. * Seattle Times *
Lawton's up there with Philip Kerr and Alan Furst. Yes, he's that good. * The Sun *
Once again Lawton confirms why, alongside with Mick Herron, he is a spy writer supreme...A wonderful addition to a growing and fascinating body of work. -- Maxim Jakubowski * Crime Time, Book of the Month *
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