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The Sinkiang Executive is the eighth novel in Adam Hall's Quiller series of espionage thrillers. Hall is a pseudonym for Ellestron Trevor which itself was a pseudonym for British author, Trevor Dudley-Smith. Smith actually wrote under a number of aliases but was best known as Adam Hall for the Quiller series though his greatest work as Ellestron Trevor was the original novelisation of Flight Of The Phoenix!
Quiller is the go-to man when a mission is demed near-impossible. He is one of only a handful of Executives with the Suffix-Nine designation that indicates he is reliable under torture and interrogation. At the time of this latest adventure, he is one of only five Executivers with this designation. All Executives are allowed in theory to turn down any mission they are assigned if they think they are unable to perform successfully, due to the nature and sensitivity of the work they are in (the Bureau they work for does not officially exist meaning the British Goverment cannot therefore be held accountable for any mission that goes pear-shaped!) but Quiller has a reputation for never turning a job down, mostly out of stubborn pride. This, in turn, gives him a certain amount of leeway......
But not enough!
Because when Quiller oversteps the mark and makes a termination outside of mission-time for personal reasons, the Bureau take a dim view. The Metropolitan Police and Scotland Yard begin a Nationwide search for Quiller over the killing of a Soviet on the London Underground and the Bureau for the first time find their anonymity compromised. The only solution....get Quiller out of the way! Fast!!
Trained to fly a captured Russian Mig, Quiller's latest objective is to infiltrate Soviet airspace and take photos of a secret Military installation. The plan is to crash the Mig, making it look as though Quiller has been killed thus removing him from the radar of the local KGB. How he gets back is up to him but one thing is certain, the Bureau will be of little assisstance! For this is a closed-end mission and, because of his actions that have put the Bureau at risk, Quiller is being given little option: take on this potential suicide objective or face the authorities and pay the consequences. If Quiller succeeds and makes it back West, all charges will be dropped. If he is killed a liabilty is taken off the Bureau's books!
This is another great spy thriller that reads like Craig Thomas' Firefox in reverse! Few writers would have the skill or ambition to attempt such a thing, turn the usual conventions of this genre on their head, and this novel is just another example why Hall was ahead of his time and why his books will always be better and more believable than those of his competitors!
This is one of the few books where we see Quiller getting emotional; usually the closest we get is when his sub-conscious begins getting jumpy and warning him of potential threats ("trying", as he puts it, "to protect the organism!"). As such, it is one of the definitive Quiller novels and pretty much an essential read for fans of the series. Once again, Hall proves he knows how to spin a convincing and credible tale and fans of Quiller will NOT be disappointed!
Another one for any spy enthusuiasts collections then!!!