With his Frederick Troy series, John Lawton has been compared to such top historical espionage writers as John le Carré and Len Deighton. Now, in this prequel to Black Out, Lawton transports readers to 1941 London during the German Blitz, brilliantly re-creating the era of ration tickets, air raids, and bomb shelters.
Wolfgang Stahl, an American spy operating undercover as an SS officer, has fled Germany with Hitler’s secret blueprints for the invasion of Russia. As American, British, and German operatives race through war-torn London in search of the spy, bodies begin to pile up and the question arises: Are Stahl and his American contact being played by one of their own? In this game of spy vs. spy, only Sergeant Troy of Scotland Yard will be shrewd enough to uncover the truth.
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John Lawton is a novelist and occasional historian. He lives high up in the English hills, but spends part of the year in New York City and pretends it is balance.From Publishers Weekly:
In this stimulating prequel to Lawton's acclaimed Inspector Troy series (Black Out; Old Flames; etc.), London is in the middle of the blitz and 25-year-old Freddie Troy is a Scotland Yard sergeant, chafing at the limits of his post. As the novel begins, he is relegated to the background, the focus instead on a gawky American named Calvin Cormack, who has come to London to help find and debrief Wolfgang Stahl, a top aide to Hitler's SS chief, Heydrich, and a spy for the Americans who has been forced to flee Germany for England to avoid capture, carrying with him plans for the imminent German invasion of Russia. The seriously spooked Stahl disappears into the vast underground system of bombed-out London, accessible only to Walter Stilton, a wonderfully bluff old copper. Calvin (whose father is a U.S. senator working with Charles Lindbergh and the America First group to keep the U.S. out of the war) is quickly absorbed into the large Stilton family, winning the affections of oldest daughter Kitty, also a police officer. Kitty, as it happens, was previously involved with Freddie Troy (and hasn't given him up entirely); Freddie's ties to the family and Calvin become more complicated when tragedy strikes and Freddie is drawn into the search for Stahl. Lawton meshes comedy and suspense with skill and energy, and seamlessly mixes fictional creations with real characters like H.G. Wells, newspaper magnate Lord Beaverbrook, Winston Churchill and distant cousin Robert Churchill (a talented gunsmith who plays a key role here), producing a distinctive, vigorous novel of wartime suspense.
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Book Description Penguin Books, 2004. Mass Market Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0143034324
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