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The Whitehall Mandarin

Overview

British intelligence has a mole deep in the KGB. When that mole reports on a Soviet spy ring in London, MI6 gets worried. And when MI6 gets worried, they call Catesby. He is sent on a mole hunt that leads him through the seamy sex scandals of 1960s London to the jungles of Vietnam. The tectonic plates of world power are shifting. Thrilling and deeply intelligent, The Whitehall Mandarin reveals the US government's most deeply held secret - its investigation into the People's Republic of China, and its concurrent ...

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The Whitehall Mandarin

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Overview

British intelligence has a mole deep in the KGB. When that mole reports on a Soviet spy ring in London, MI6 gets worried. And when MI6 gets worried, they call Catesby. He is sent on a mole hunt that leads him through the seamy sex scandals of 1960s London to the jungles of Vietnam. The tectonic plates of world power are shifting. Thrilling and deeply intelligent, The Whitehall Mandarin reveals the US government's most deeply held secret - its investigation into the People's Republic of China, and its concurrent rise to world domination. It's a secret that Catesby may not live to share.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
03/31/2014
Wilson’s audacious premise, grounded in historical fact, separates his third thriller featuring MI6 intelligence operative William Catesby (after 2012’s The Midnight Swimmer) from many similar explorations of the cold war’s shadow side. In March 1957, Catesby has Jeffers Cauldwell, an American cultural attaché assigned to London, under surveillance, because Cauldwell may be spying for the Russians. Cauldwell specializes in obtaining compromising photos of British government officials, which proves relatively easy in the “sexual circus” of the time. Wilson goes on to spin an engrossing spy story that concludes in 1969, saving for the end the revelation of an ingenious plan to counter the Soviets. Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon all condoned a secret program that many Americans would have considered treasonous. Fans of twisted plots with the possibility of double or even triple bluffs will find this a nice substitute for Len Deighton, who made even secondary characters memorable. (May)
Kirkus Reviews
2014-04-17
Another Cold War adventure for British MI6 agent Catesby, working at a time when a triple-agent double cross was de rigueur.Wilson's complicated narrative opens in England, where Catesby is pursuing an American diplomat spying for the Soviet Union. Cauldwell, the double agent, is getting his information from the titled and moneyed British sort who aren't averse to a weekend country-house orgy and who therefore become perfect extortion targets when they return to Whitehall to tend the Empire's remnants. It's all very le Carré until the captured Cauldwell is transferred to U.S. custody and then escapes. At that point, Wilson's tale goes James Bond: a hijacked DC-7 chased by Super Sabres; a parachute drop into Cuba's Sierra Madre just in time for Castro to proclaim victory. Central to the tale is Lady Somers, Britain's first female minister of defense; she has a serious problem with her drug-taking Maoist daughter, Miranda, who's fled England to serve the Revolution. Catesby is sent to Vietnam to find her, and the tale goes all Graham Greene. Thematically, Wilson cares little for the machinations of the old-boy aristocracy who find themselves at the helms of superpowers. He takes shots at Hiroshima's psycho-sexual implications, the Bay of Pigs bumbling, Mao's bad dental habits and the realpolitik of Red China's quest for the hydrogen bomb. This cynically complex plot is laid over perfectly described settings, from London to Moscow to Vietnam. Wilson's characters and their consciences come alive to lend the book its power. "The wonderful thing about espionage wasn't what enemies did to each other, but the way allies stabbed each other in the back," he writes.A deftly plotted homage to the mavens of Cold War spy thrillers.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781909807532
  • Publisher: Arcadia Books
  • Publication date: 3/20/2014
  • Pages: 372
  • Sales rank: 752,463
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 1.50 (d)

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