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The ninth book in Adam Hall's Quiller series of espionage novels is a tense affair from beginning to end!
Called back off vacation, this Executive, working for a branch of The Secret Services that doesn't formally exist, is given an urgent task: track down a contact lost in the field in Moscow and either bring him home or terminate his contract. Schrenk, a man Quiller has worked with before, was captured recently by the KGB and taken to the notorious Lubyanka Prison for intense interrogation. But then he escaped! Now no one, even the KGB seems to know where he is and time is running out! Can Quiller discover Schrenk before the Russians do? How much did he tell them? And where has he been hiding out? All these questions and more are answered as Quiller goes in and does what he does best: infiltrate the enemy and carry out his Directive!
As always, things are never easy. Just crossing the Russian Border almost ends in disaster and once there, the KGB are on Quiller's tail almost from the get go. Quiller is still recovering from the strains of his last mission and his reactions are ever so slightly off and, for the first times in this series, we get to see what happens when a Special Executive himself is captured when Quiller, himself, is forced to undergo interrogation at Lubyanka! As with all these books, the action moves along at a fast pace, never slowing down for a second, and the plot quickly races towards its explosive climax. Once you pock this up, I guarantee you will have trouble putting this Cold War thriller down!
Fans of this series will NOT be disappointed as this is another great, high quality spy novel from master espionage writer, Adam Hall. As always, this book can be read as part of the series or as a stand-alone with no impact on your enjoyment as, although a couple of past events are mentioned, there are as many allusions to missions that Hall has never committed to paper.
Once again, Hall has written another espionage masterpiece that beautifully captures the mood of the times in which this book is set! And, with no over-reliance on gadgets (like some Secret Service Agents one could mention), the book reads as a highly believable thriller that excells in its realism and comes across as highly credible in its execution.