Spy Story

Spy Story


'Len Deighton's spy novels are so good they make me sad the Cold War is over' Malcolm Gladwell

After six weeks in a nuclear submarine gathering computer data on Soviet activity, the mysterious, bespectacled spy known as Patrick Armstrong is desperate to return home. But when he arrives at his London flat, it appears to be occupied by someone who looks just like him - and he finds himself propelled into the heart of a conspiracy stretching from the remote Scottish highlands to the Arctic ice. Revisiting some of the characters from The IPCRESS File, Spy Story shows military games played out for real, and the Cold War turning dangerously hot.

'Menacing, beguiling ... a vintage Len Deighton thriller' The Times Literary Supplement



  • The spy story at its best.
    The Times

About the author

Len Deighton

Len Deighton was born in 1929 in London. He did his national service in the RAF, went to the Royal College of Art and designed many book jackets, including the original UK edition of Jack Kerouac's On the Road. The enormous success of his first spy novel, The IPCRESS File (1962), was repeated in a remarkable sequence of books over the following decades. These varied from historical fiction (Bomber, perhaps his greatest novel) to dystopian alternative fiction (SS-GB) and a number of brilliant non-fiction books on the Second World War (Fighter, Blitzkrieg and Blood, Tears and Folly).

His spy novels chart the twists and turns of Britain and the Cold War in ways which now give them a unique flavour. They preserve a world in which Europe contains many dictatorships, in which the personal can be ruined by the ideological and where the horrors of the Second World War are buried under only a very thin layer of soil. Deighton's fascination with technology, his sense of humour and his brilliant evocation of time and place make him one of the key British espionage writers, alongside John Buchan, Eric Ambler, Ian Fleming and John Le Carré.
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