Dead Men Living

ISBN 13: 9780727856609

Dead Men Living

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9780727856609: Dead Men Living
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Three bodies turn up after a Siberian thaw. Two of the bodies -- one American, one English -- are wearing remarkably well-preserved World War II uniforms. How did two soldiers from the West get themselves killed in Siberia in 1945? British, American and Russian intelligence agencies all want answers . . . or do they?

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Review:

Dead Men Living marks the return of Charlie Muffin (you've got to love an ex-spy with a name like that) to the minefield of diplomatic negotiations between England and Russia. It's a territory that, even with the end of the cold war, remains tortuously difficult to transverse. The need to step carefully is equally apparent in Charlie's personal life: newly reunited with Natalia, the ex-KGB agent (and mother of their 5-year-old daughter) who years ago managed Charlie's false defection, he's finding it more difficult than ever to draw need-to-know lines between work and family.

It's a decision that gets no easier when the thawing Siberian tundra reveals a World War II grave with an American soldier, a British soldier, and a Russian woman, stripped of all identifying marks. Charlie, Natalia (now in the Interior Ministry), and American agent Miriam Bell step warily into a dance of discovery, only to find that powerful, faceless persons are calling the steps. What were the Allied soldiers doing near Gulag 98, one of Stalin's most infamous prison camps? What decades-old secret could be so important that England, America, and Russia seem to be working overtime to keep it under wraps? Charlie's investigative journey into the past will take him into a world of looted Nazi art, terrified Russian exiles, and diplomatic wrangling.

Brian Freemantle (Little Grey Mice, Comrade Charlie) does a neat job of sketching the interdepartmental turmoil that informs a new era of international cooperation. With the roles of good guy and bad guy--so familiar, so comforting--in constant flux, it's everyone for him- or herself. He's not as adept as le Carré (but who is?) at unraveling the mysteriously tangled threads of espionage--too often, the reader is simply told that Charlie has "figured something out," and the villains in the matter are duller than they have any right to be. But Freemantle's observations are generally adept and well phrased: "Charlie had never liked being a part of diplomatic house-tidying; the dirt always had the habit of bulging the carpet under which it was swept." As Muffins go, Freemantle has served up a pretty tasty text. --Kelly Flynn

About the Author:

BRIAN FREEMAN is a veteran business writer and marketing executive. ""Immoral, his first novel, has been selected by Bookspan as International Book of the Month and will be published in more than ten countries. He and his wife live in Minnesota.

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Book Description Sutton : Severn House, 2000. First Edition. Fine cloth copy in a near fine, very slightly edge-nicked and dust-dulled dust wrapper, now mylar-sleeved. Remains particularly and surprisingly well-preserved; tight, bright, clean and sharp-cornered. Physical description; 345 p. ; 23 cm. Subjects; Muffin, Charlie (Fictitious character) Fiction. Intelligence service Great Britain Fiction. Genres; Fiction. Spy stories. Hardcover Kg. 345 pp. Seller Inventory # 240374

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