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Publisher's Summary

President Truman is nearing the end of his term in office, and Great Britain has a new queen. It is 1952; the Cold War is beginning to heat up, and vital Western military secrets are falling into Soviet hands. The CIA is faced with a delicate dilemma, for the source of the leaks to the KGB has been traced directly to the Queen's chambers. The situation must be resolved, but the young Queen's self-confidence and public credibility must not be damaged. Thus young Blackford Oakes, handsome, debonaire, and audacious, a recent Yale graduate and ex-combat fighter pilot, is selected to penetrate the royal circle, win the Queen's confidence, and plug the leak. The action leads to an explosive showdown in the skies over London, one that could determine the future of the West.
©1976 William F. Buckley, Jr. (P)2004 Blackstone Audiobooks
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Zimri on 12-20-05

Enjoyable story, production not so hot

Buckley's writing makes for an entertaining story, not least for the audacity of his hero spy, Blackford Oakes, but also because he weaves in historical perspective to the characters' motivations. The production, however, leaves much to be desired. Frequently there are strange pauses in the narration, as though a sentence were punctuated with commas in the wrong places. Other times, sentences or phrases are dropped into the recording in a way that makes the narrator's voice sound so different that you'd almost think it's a different person. It's distracting. I'm not faulting the narrator, but the editing of the production is just not very good. Otherwise it's an enjoyable listen.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By K. Worthington on 09-08-04

Well written, compellingly plotted

It's Buckley, so you can rightly expect pleasing prose. That alone is enough to recommend the book--it is satisfying to listen to Buckley's descriptive, engaging, stimulating writing. But I also enjoyed the realism of this spy thriller. The plot, unlike many in this genre, was believable. The world won't (immediately) end if the mission fails--but the consequences are very serious. The hero is not an unkillable ninja-assassin, but a smart, skilled, brave, but human spy. Interesting backstory that resonates at the end. If you want over-the-top fantasy in your spy thrillers, move along. If you want a very well-written, believable, and satisfying story, pick this one up.

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10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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