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Library Journal Review
Remember Bernard Samson from Deighton's "Hook, Line, and Sinker" series? He's back again, ready to do battle with the bad guys in a 125,000-copy first printing. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
Deighton's beleaguered British spy, Bernard Samson, returns to kick off the third trilogy in the outstanding series that has run from 1984's Berlin Game through 1990's Spy Sinker. Taking up where Sinker left off, in the fall of 1987 (thus making Deighton perhaps the only major thriller author who's still writing about the Cold War), this rich entry finds Samson leaving California to pick up VERDI, code name for a high-ranking East German Stasi officer who may be defecting to Britain's SIS. The operation goes disastrously wrong during a shoot-out in East Germany, but Samson manages to get back to London, where he encounters real danger and fighting: the take-no-prisoners politicking within the SIS, involving Samson, his duplicitous wife and a slew of internal enemies and possible friends. Deighton's penchant for explosive violence, telling detail and throwaway humor (too much coffee, Samson comments to his boss, "`makes some people very tense.' `Not me,' said Dicky, biting into a fingernail. `I'm used to it'") are much in evidence here, and readers will enjoy some of the finest intramural politicking since C.P. Snow. What's more problematic is whether they'll relish a tale set in the Cold War and thus lacking the unpredictability of stories set in the post-Soviet world or the nostalgia of those evoking less recent wars, like Deighton's own SS-GB. Given the author's mastery of the genre, though, the odds are that they will, strongly. 125,000 first printing; $150,000 ad/promo. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
/*STARRED REVIEW*/ Deighton, author of a string of supremely successful espionage stories, has written another dazzling thriller starring consummate spy Bernard Samson. Featured in a recent PBS series based on Deighton's work, Samson was left in a wretched state at the conclusion of Spy Sinker (1990), his wife, Fiona, defecting to the East, his children in the custody of their grandparents, and Bernard's own career in tatters. Deighton has finally delivered the eagerly awaited sequel to Spy Sinker and--after four years of suspense--has revealed at last what happened to Bernard, Fiona, Gloria, Dicky, Werner, Bert, and the rest of the London Central cast. Faith takes place in 1987 and chronicles Bernard's next mission, a rendezvous in the East to bring back VERDI, the source who can tell London nearly everything they want to know about the state of post-cold war espionage. While Bernard is busy trying to lure the elusive VERDI across Checkpoint Charlie, the usual political games are going on in London; Bernard's nemesis, Dicky Cruyer, is determined to become director-general, and Fiona, back from the East, may be tapped for the deputy spot, to Bernard's chagrin. As usual, Deighton offers clandestine shenanigans, secret missions, cryptic messages, and mile-a-minute action in a book with best-seller written all over it. (Reviewed November 1, 1994)0060176229Emily Melton
Kirkus Book Review
A warmed-over Bernard Samson (Spy Sinker, 1990, etc.) thriller that is sorely lacking violence, action, sex, bad guys, espionage, and high technology. It's the summer of 1987, and British spy Bernard is going through a difficult time. His wife, Fiona (also a secret agent), has just returned from East Germany, where she's spent enough time pretending to have defected that Bernard fell in love with another agent named Gloria, moved in with her, and watched her become the new mother to his and Fiona's prepubescent kids. But a few weeks ago, Fiona returned a hero and Bernard has had to dump Gloria, deal with not having been trusted with the truth of Fiona's mission, and cope with the guilt of the death of Fiona's sister Tessa, which reportedly occurred at the scene of Fiona's return to the West, although there's no body and lots of mystery surrounding who did it and why. Before Bernard has a chance to settle back into a life with Fiona, he's sent on a mission to make contact with a communist agent named Verdi, who London Central tells him wants to defect with passwords to East Germany's newly activated computerized intelligence material. Bernard visits his old East German haunts, gets into a few fistfights (but alas, only one shoot-out--and the bad guys don't even shoot back), sees some old friends, watches Fiona become his boss's right hand, learns of his wife's secret plan to uncover the truth of her sister's disappearance, and hears from Gloria that Fiona is undermining her family in a vicious act of revenge. The scene is set but nothing gets resolved. Bernard learns that Tessa may still be alive and in prison but, so as not to make waves, keeps this detail to himself. Gloria's suspicions about Fiona never get confirmed either way. Bernard successfully brings Verdi to London but then loses him to a sniper, destroying any chance of accessing the opposition's files. With vapid characters, murky plot, and infelicitous descriptions that include ``our footsteps crunching in the gravel like a company of soldiers marching though a bowl of cornflakes,'' this caper leaves you cold. (125,00 first printing; $150,000 ad/promo)