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Adult fiction: Spy

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Smiley's People

Author: John le Carre

Publisher: Sceptre (2011)

Rounding off his astonishing vision of a clandestine world, master storyteller le Carré perfects his art in Smiley's People, the last book in the "Karla Trilogy". In London at dead of night, George Smiley, sometime acting Chief of the Circus (aka the British Secret Service), is summoned from his lonely bed by news of the murder of an ex-agent. Lured back to active service, Smiley skillfully maneuvers his people — the no-men of no-man's land — into crisscrossing Paris, London, Germany, and Switzerland as he prepares for his own final, inevitable duel on the Berlin border with his Soviet counterpart and arch-enemy, Karla.

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So Disdained

Author: Nevil Shute

Publisher: Pan Books Ltd (1974)

One rainy night Peter Moran is driving across the Sussex countryside. When he stops to give a lift to a bedraggled pedestrian he is amazed to discover an old wartime comrade from the Royal Flying Corps. Moran's loyalty is tested as he agrees to help his friend, even though he has acted treasonably. Nevil Shute's second novel interweaves romance, treason and intrigue with a masterly story of adventure in the air during the uneasy peace between the two world wars. (10th printing of the 1966 edition.)

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The Bear's Tears

Author: Craig Thomas

Publisher: Sphere (1998)

The trap was baited and waiting, but MI5's Aubrey still had a trick or two up his sleeve. And he had friends willing to risk everything in Afghanistan and Prague in search of the secret of Teardrop, buried deep in the centre of Moscow. The author's other novels include "Firefox" and "Rat Trap".

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The Constant Gardener

Author: John le Carre

Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd (2001)

In this spy story by John le Carré, Tessa Quayle has been horribly murdered on the shores of Lake Turkana in Northern Kenya, the birthplace of mankind. Her putative African lover, a doctor with one of the aid agencies, has disappeared. Her husband, Justin, a career diplomat and amateur gardener at the British High Commission in Nairobi, sets out on a personal odyssey in pursuit of the killers and their motive. His quest takes him to the Foreign Office in London, across Europe and Canada and back to Africa, to the depths of South Sudan, and finally to the very spot where Tessa died. On his way Justin meets terror, violence, laughter, conspiracy and knowledge. But his greatest discovery is the woman he barely had time to love.

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The Deceiver

Author: Frederick Forsyth

Publisher: Corgi Books (1992)

Sam McCready is The Deceiver, one of the Secret Intelligence Service's most unorthodox and most valued operatives, a legend in his own time. The end of the cold war has, however, strengthened the hand of the Whitehall mandarins, to whom he seems about as controllable as Genghis Khan, so Sam is to have his fate decided at a special hearing. As part of the proceedings, four of Sam's key operations are reviewed: a clandestine mission into East Germany in 1985 to contact the top Russian spy General Pankratin; the second involving a KGB colonel who wants to defect - but is he genuine? The third - an audacious Qaddafi-inspired plot to ship arms to the IRA; and the fourth when McCready presided over the aftermath of a political murder and mayhem in the Caribbean.

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The Devils Alternative

Author: Frederick Forsyth

Publisher: Hutchinson (1979)

A thriller, from the author of THE DAY OF THE JACKAL and THE DOGS OF WAR, in which the President of the USA and other statesmen throughout the world face a decision that will cost the lives of many people.

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The Fist Of God

Author: Frederick Forsyth

Publisher: Corgi Books (1995)

During those fateful weeks before Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait, a fragment of radio intercept had referred to Qubth-ut-Allah, a devastating secret weapon that could rain death and destruction on the Allied forces. Despite Allied scepticism, Major Mike Martin, an SAS man who can pass as an Arab, is sent into Kuwait to assess Iraqi strength and help the resistance. What he discovers there takes him to the heart of Baghdad, where he is to 'run' the Iraqi spy known as Jericho, the sleeper who might be prepared to provide vital information for money. It is a highly dangerous operation, the results of which cause the Allies to delay their ground assault for four days - while Martin parachutes into the Iraqi mountains on the most hazardous mission of his life: to find and destroy the Qubth-ut-Allah - the Fist of God. Not until you read The Fist of God will you realise why Saddam Hussein thought he could win the Gulf War and so refused to pull out of Kuwait.

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The Fourth Protocol

Author: Frederick Forsyth

Publisher: Arrow (2011)

Plan Aurora, hatched in a remote dacha in the forest outside Moscow and initiated with relentless brilliance and skill, is a plan within a plan that, in its spine-chilling ingenuity, breaches the ultra-secret Fourth Protocol and turns the fears that shaped it into a living nightmare. A crack Soviet agent, placed under cover in a quiet English country town, begins to assemble a jigsaw of devastation. MI5 investigator John Preston, working against the most urgent of deadlines, leads an operation to prevent the act of murderous destruction aimed at tumbling Britain into revolution...

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The Honourable Schoolboy

Author: John le Carre

Publisher: Knopf (1977)

In this spy story by John le Carré, George Smiley has become acting Chief of the Circus, or rather what remains of it. For the credibility of the British Secret Service has been shattered by his unmasking of a traitor within. It is being starved of funds by Whitehall, and sidelined by its American cousins. Smiley’s appointment, therefore, seems more like retribution than promotion.

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The Key To Rebecca

Author: Ken Follett

Publisher: Pan (2012)

'Our spy in Cairo is the greatest hero of them all . . .' Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, September 1942 He is known to the Germans as 'Sphinx', to others as Alex Wolff, a European businessman. He arrives suddenly in Cairo from out of the desert, armed with a radio set, a lethal blade and a copy of Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca - a ruthless man with a burning, relentless conviction that he will win at all costs.

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