Tuesday, 5 March 2019


My obituary of Charles McCarry, one of the very best spy novelists, is online at the Guardian now; you can link to it here. It should appear in the paper paper sometime soon. It appears pretty much as I wrote it, some time ago, with just brief updating on the books he'd published since then. I particularly recommend The Miernik Dossier, an assured, structurally fascinating debut novel. Tears Of Autumn is a fine novel, which I mentioned whenever I was writing about the fiction of the JFK assassination; I was lucky enough to be able to review some of his later books in various places, The Secret Lovers, with its wonderfully ambiguous title, is one of the very best.

His late return to his Paul Christopher books came with Old Boys, which I reviewed for the Spectator. It's behind a pay wall, but maybe I can resurrect it. It is partly tongue-in-cheek, but great fun.  Christopher's Ghosts was not tongue-in-cheek and had an ending whose final line explained the whole of the Paul Christopher series; a tour de force of a finish (my review is here). I also reviewed The Shanghai Factor, which has another great ending; you can find that review here.

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