Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Review of The Darkling Spy by Edward Wilson (Arcadia Books, 2010)
The Darkling Spy is a cold war spy story in the mould of John Le Carre – a dark, complex, layered tale of small heroic, compromising and treacherous acts and mind games, rather than the action, thrills and womanising of Fleming. Wilson creates a world in which no-one quite trusts anyone else, even family, friends and allies; in which the wrong decisions can have fatal consequences. It is a world of pervaded by lies, deception, mis- and dis-information, politics and ideology. There is a strong sense of atmospherics and sense of place throughout and the story is told through an engaging voice. Bone and Catesby are convincing characters with interesting back stories that are nicely portrayed and the other characters are well penned. The plotting is very nicely done, with the various pieces of the jigsaw manoeuvred into place and the final picture only being revealed in the last few pages. The denouement felt a little flat, although in keeping with the understated telling of the rest of the story. Overall, a very good cold war spy tale.