Search This Blog

Tuesday 23 March 2021

Deep Purple - book review

 Ted Allbeury’s 1989 espionage thriller Deep Purple has all the hallmarks of his earlier books: authentic background, knowledge of the inner workings of the Secret Intelligence Service, MI6.


It all begins with Yakunin, a KGB walk-in at the British embassy in Washington. He is swiftly flown to a safe house in England where he will be questioned by Eddie Hoggart, a man who worked his way up from a deprived childhood to become a seasoned interrogator.  Hoggart is married to Jacqui, a sex worker with a past that includes a Soho hard-man, Harry Gardner. In effect, Eddie and Jacqui are two sides of the same coin, surviving the hard knocks of society. Eddie was helped up by an adoptive parent and he wants to help Jacqui. Only Gardner has other ideas…

Confusing the mix is yet another defection: KGB man Belinsky, who appears to contradict the revelations of Yakunin.  Which one is the genuine defector, and which is the plant? Or are they both not what they seem?

The big question is: do they know about a mole in the higher echelons of MI6?

Here we can understand the lonely existence of spies. Yes, orphans definitely make the best recruits.

There are some poignant and tragic moments in this story, which rings true, thanks to Allbeury’s attention to the details that matter.

The title of the book is relevant: it relates to the old tune of the same name.

No comments: