John Holderness, known to the women in his life as ‘Wilderness’, comes of age during World War II in Stepney, breaking into houses with his grandfather. After the war, Wilderness is recruited as MI5’s resident ‘cat burglar’ and finds himself in Berlin, involved with schemes in the booming black market that put both him and his relationships in danger.
In 1963 it is a most unusual and lucrative request that persuades Wilderness to return - to smuggle someone under the Berlin Wall and out of East Germany. But this final scheme may prove to be one challenge too far....
"A superbly well-built Cold War cocktail - bracing, deliriously delicious, but carrying the slightly bitter aftertaste of dreams gone bad." (Booklist)
"John Lawton finds himself in the same boat as the late Patrick O'Brian - a sublimely elegant historical novelist as addictive as crack but overlooked by too many readers for too long." (Daily Telegraph on A Lily of the Field)
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