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Free Agent: A Novel

Average Rating 4
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  • Posted May 30, 2012

    Duns' debut novel scores well by just about any measure. First,

    Duns' debut novel scores well by just about any measure. First, the protagonist, Paul Dark, is very original. I thoroughly enjoyed watching him squirm and try to come to grips with his own sense of morals and/or lack thereof. Often, just as I thought I really had a feel for who Dark is, he'd do or say something to surprise me. Second, as anyone who knows me or who reads my reviews knows, I've read a lot of espionage thrillers over the years, but I don't think that I've ever read one that focused on the Nigerian civil war, a subject about which I knew very little. Thus, Duns' narrative and the ties to history kept me on my toes. I also thought that Duns' did a magnificnet job of capturing the time period. Several times, I thought I'd found an anachronistic error (e.g., a reference to the Concorde) that I promptly looked up and, to my surprise, each time Duns was correct. I don't know if his portrayal of life among diplomats and the press in 1969 Lagos is accurate, but it felt as if Duns knew what he was talking about.

    Finally, I can't help but remark on Duns' writing style and storytelling technique. This is a "serious" espionage novel, more in line with Le Carre than Fleming. But the best comparison that I can find, both for style and technique, is to Adam Hall's Quiller novels. And again, as anyone who knows me or reads my reviews can attest, that is high praise, indeed. Dark is not Quiller and Duns is not Hall, but if you enjoy Quiller than do yourself a favor and give Dark a try.

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  • Posted July 15, 2010

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    Bridget's Review

    It's been 25 years since Paul was asked to join the MI6 with his father. Their job was to take down certain Nazi's and keep it on the down low. Paul doesn't just work for MI6, he's actually a double agent worked alongside the KGB. Now, Paul is on the run. Will he be able to outsmart both or will his decisions stomp on him leaving only a pile of dirt?

    I found this spy novel to be entertaining. I wouldn't say it's one of my favorites but it's far from horrible. I guess I would say that it's so-so. If you like the whole double agent angle then this might be a good book to pick up the next time you want to read.

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  • Posted September 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Pealing the Onion

    A well-plotted story of treachery involving spies for Britain and Russia, war in Nigeria,suffering throughout. Sometimes the unveiling of the plot left me confused as there were so many layers to unravel, and so much double-dealing. Spy thriller fans will enjoy this book.

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