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Publisher's Summary

1963. England is about to explode. An ageing hack defects to Russia. A cabinet minister resigns. A young woman takes an overdose. A Harley Street physician blows out his brains. Commander Troy investigates. But what with the sex and the drugs, he finds that he's up to his neck in the mess, personally and professionally. The damn thing might blow up in his face, and the English can be so unforgiving of a good scandal.
©1998 John Lawton; (P)1998 Oakhill Publishing Ltd
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Critic Reviews

"A haunting novel, transcending the bounds of genre fiction." (Daily Telegraph)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By Benjamin on 08-22-06


This production was so dry and witless that I gave up after about two hours. The plot was hard to follow and the characters were hard to care about.

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5 of 6 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By David on 09-05-12

Lawton does it again.

This is another entry in wonderful Alex Troy series. Lawton's revival of the world of England from the late '30s to the early '60s is among the most faithful I have read. Each novel covers a span of that time and contains snippets of actual modified history, lending the stories a compellingly fresh quality.

If you aren't familiar with London or English history during those years or are unfamiliar with English slang, some parts of this novel may be somewhat difficult. The writing is first-rate and the characterization, while somewhat more colorful than real life, is interesting and vivid.

The reader, Sara Coward, is wonderful. Her steady, controlled performance makes this book a joy to listen to.

I highly recommend this book to Anglophiles, particularly those with an interest mid-century history.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Andrew A Bowden on 03-18-18

Good but a bit random

Story is too long. The beginning is just a long ramble at the start before it gets meaty and after the main mystery is solved the book could end but drags on unnecessarily for at least another hour. The voice is a bit disconcerting having the male lead narrated by a woman does not work and after listening to earlier books is very hard to get used to.

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