Praise for Tom Bradby and Secret Service:
“A gripping thriller.”Sunday Times (UK), on Secret Service
“There are resonant echoes of le Carré herein the way the betrayals reach from marriage beds to the seats of governmentsbut there is also a distinctly contemporary feeling in the idea that truth, even when it's discoverable, may no longer matter.”Booklist (starred review), on Secret Service
“Cracking, uber-topical spy thriller… Bradby deftly works in current fears of Moscow infiltrating our institutions amid a plot full of twists and turns.”Financial Times, on Secret Service
“The author reveals a rarely seen facet of secret agents: the domestic side. Not a clichéd Jane Bond, Kate is a mother to two teenagers, daughter to a spiteful mother sliding into dementia, and wife to a civil servant who may be working for a traitor. Ops go sideways, betrayals abound, and good people die. Bradby keeps the reader guessing to the last. Fans of cerebral spycraft in the vein of le Carré will enjoy this outing.”Publishers Weekly, on Secret Service
“Enthralling and fast-moving…packed with details of modern tradecraft in the twilight world of spooks, against a background of politics at its most Machiavellian, it is the stuff headlines are made of.”Daily Mail, on Secret Service
“Teems with twists and the denouement is imaginative and unexpected.”Times (UK) , on Secret Service
“A strong dose of international politics with an all-too-plausible premise.”Observer, on Secret Service
“An excellent thriller straight out of today's headlines…a fast, riveting yarn.”Sun, on Secret Service
“Atmospheric and richly entertaining. . . Political intrigue of the highest order.”Washington Post, on The White Russian
“Bradby has the talent of a reporter but the heart of a storyteller.”Daily Mail, on The God of Chaos
“A race-against-the-clock thriller and a complex psychological drama.”Irish Independent, on The Sleep of the Dead
Kate Henderson returns, still on the trail of a high-level traitor in British government.
Henderson, head of MI6's Russian desk, has reason to believe James Ryan, the British Prime Minister, is a Russian sleeper agent, but she has been unable to prove it. In her investigation of him, however, she does discover that her husband, Stuart, is a Russian agent who's betrayed her as well. Stuart has escaped to Russia, and Henderson's world has suffered mightily: She can't sleep, and even her subordinates are urging her to get therapy; her children are manifesting behavior disorders, and she's been saddled with a new assistant who may be spying on her for MI5, the British security service. When she arranges a trip to Venice so her kids can briefly visit with their father, she is secretly contacted by Mikhail Borodin, who claims to be seeking to defect. Borodin explains that he and his father, Igor, former chief of Russia's foreign intelligence service, are victims of a GRU power grab and are at risk of death or imprisonment. He offers to exchange a kompromat video of Ryan in the company of underage girls for refuge in England. From that point onward, Kate oscillates between mental and familial crises at home and her need to convince her government to accept Borodin's deal at work. There's a nice set piece in Berlin when a planned defection fails, or perhaps was never meant to succeed, but this installment of Kate's quest is largely lacking in kinetic energy, though there's much discussion and political maneuvering. How a modern intelligence service could permit an employee so clearly in crisis to continue to make momentous decisions is not addressed, and overall there's a sort of shaggy imprecision in Kate's MI6, so it's not a big surprise that the evidence of Ryan's guilt is suppressed or corrupted, and Kate's quest has plenty of scope for a third volume.
Bradby's fans will welcome his heroine's return even though this installment is a little flat.