This is the middle book in the second of Len Deighton’s trilogies featuring weathered English spy Bernard Samson, set a few years after the end of the Game, Set and Match series.
As I’ve mentioned in reviews of earlier books in the series, I first read these stories over a decade ago. It surprises me how little I actually remembered about the plot of this one considering that this brings the story (so far) to a chronological end. The final book in the series takes a look back at the whole story from a different point of view.
Spy Line takes the main twist introduced in the previous book, Spy Hook, and runs with it. There are a number of subplots and characters introduced that at first seem surplus to requirements but ultimately all play a role in how the storyline comes to a close. I have to deliberately be a bit vague at this stage, but I can say that the story gets going quickly and maintains the pace all the way through. In my first review of this book (see the Len Deighton books page) I wrote about “a distinct feeling of melancholy”, and although older characters are reaching the end of their days and their influence is on the wane, I didn’t get that sense so much this time.
The narration of the audiobook is as excellent as ever, although I must say that some of the American accents do tend to sound similar.
I remember being blown away by Spy Sinker, the last book in the trilogy. It comes out in under two months so my little project of listening to the new audiobook versions of these stories will soon be at an end…
• Spare Cycles: Mini review: “Berlin Game” by Len Deighton (audiobook version)
• Spare Cycles: Mini review: “Mexico Set” by Len Deighton (audiobook version)
• Spare Cycles: Mini review: “London Match” by Len Deighton (audiobook version)
• Spare Cycles: Mini review: “Spy Hook” by Len Deighton (audiobook version)
• Spare Cycles: Len Deighton books (including my original review of Spy Line)
• Harper Collins: Len Deighton audiobooks