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The elaborately planned defection of famous Russian writer and ex-paratrooper Alexander Kurbsky, coordinated by Charles Ferguson and Sean Dillon of the "Prime Minister's private army," appears to be a victory for Western interests until it is revealed that Kurbsky is a secret agent out to infiltrate British and American intelligence. 275,000 first printing.
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Since The Eagle Has Landed—one of the biggest-selling thrillers of all time—every novel Jack Higgins has written has become an international bestseller. He has had simultaneous number-one bestsellers in hardcover and paperback, and many of his books have been made into successful movies, including The Eagle Has Landed, To Catch a King, On Dangerous Ground, Eye of the Storm, and Thunder Point. He has degrees in sociology, social psychology, and economics from the University of London, and a doctorate in media from Leeds Metropolitan University. A fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and an expert scuba diver and marksman, Higgins lives in Jersey on the Channel Islands.From Booklist:
The veteran author of political thrillers turns in another lackluster performance. As usual, the story contains the raw material for a first-rate novel: a Russian writer makes arrangements with Sean Dillon, the IRA terrorist turned British intelligence agent, and his colleagues in the “Prime Minister’s private army” to leave Russia and come to Britain. However, as Higgins reveals very early on, the writer is actually working for the Russians, and his deadly mission could wreak havoc at the top levels of the international intelligence community. Unfortunately, Higgins seems to be sleepwalking his way through the novel: the book opens, for example, with a clumsy scene in which one character tells another character something she already knows, purely for the benefit of the reader. The characters in the novel feel lifeless, even the ones whom the author has been writing about for years (there are more than a dozen Sean Dillon novels), and Higgins’ decision to reveal the Russian writer’s secret agenda at the beginning of the novel seems ill-considered: the story would have been more interesting, and certainly more surprising, if readers were left to wonder what this fellow was up to and whether he was keeping secrets. Higgins retains a large if shrinking fan base and that should ensure interest in the novel, but it’s definitely not one of his best. --David Pitt
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