Friends and Traitors John Lawton – Tour Review.

Publication Date: Available Now

Source: Review Copy

London, 1958. Chief Superintendent Frederick Troy of Scotland Yard, newly promoted after good service during Nikita Khrushchev’s visit to Britain, is not looking forward to a European trip with his older brother, Rod. Rod has decided to take his entire family on “the Grand Tour” for his fifty-first birthday: a whirlwind of restaurants, galleries, and concert halls from Paris to Florence to Vienna to Amsterdam.

But Frederick Troy only gets as far as Vienna. It is there that he crosses paths with an old acquaintance, a man who always seems to be followed by trouble: British spy turned Soviet agent Guy Burgess. Suffice it to say that Troy is more than surprised when Burgess, who has escaped from the bosom of Moscow for a quick visit to Vienna, tells him something extraordinary: “I want to come home.” Troy knows this news will cause a ruckus in London—but even Troy doesn’t expect an MI5 man to be gunned down as a result, and Troy himself suspected of doing the deed.

As he fights to prove his innocence, Troy is haunted by more than just Burgess’s past liaisons—there is a scandal that goes up to the highest ranks of Westminster, affecting spooks and politicians alike. And the stakes become all the higher for Troy when he re-encounters a woman he first met in the Ritz hotel during a blackout—falling in love is a handicap when playing the game of spies.

This is my first Troy novel although it is book 8, but I think I’ll have to go back and read the rest now, it was a very good read.

The first great thing about it was how the author dropped in little nuggets of information so you didn’t get lost if this was your first foray into Troy’s world – the story itself for this installment was compelling and beautifully paced. Troy himself is under suspicion and this is a thoughtful and multi-layered spy thriller with some brilliantly drawn characters and a genuine sense of place and time.

It is a slow burner, that’s for sure, the action really doesn’t get going until midway through but for someone coming in it was perfect, I had a real feel for Troy, his background and his motivations, before he was thrown into events.

Yes. I liked it. I shall read more.



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