Twinkle, Twinkle Little Spy

US Secret Service high up Colonel Mann is the main foil to the British agent in this story, which is set in the Arab world and the wastes of the north African Sahara desert, where our hero is sent to take custody of a defecting Russian scientist, Professor Bekuv The narrator is unnamed Things don t go according to plan in this story Loyalty is tested and never certain,US Secret Service high up Colonel Mann is the main foil to the British agent in this story, which is set in the Arab world and the wastes of the north African Sahara desert, where our hero is sent to take custody of a defecting Russian scientist, Professor Bekuv The narrator is unnamed Things don t go according to plan in this story Loyalty is tested and never certain, as it becomes unclear as the novel develops who is actually chasing whom, and where the threat is coming from.
Twinkle Twinkle Little Spy US Secret Service high up Colonel Mann is the main foil to the British agent in this story which is set in the Arab world and the wastes of the north African Sahara desert where our hero is sent to

  • Title: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Spy
  • Author: Len Deighton
  • ISBN: 9780586045008
  • Page: 488
  • Format: Paperback
  • 1 thought on “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Spy”

    1. If you compare spy novelists to glam bands, Len Deighton is the T Rex to Graham Greene's Roxy Music and John le Carre's David Bowie -- he may lack the elegance of the former or the artistry of the latter, but is a lot more fun than either. In this mid-70's romp, his nameless hero (most likely Harry Palmer of "The Ipcress File") assist a blowhard CIA operative in unraveling a KGB espionage ring that has sunk its claws deep into the US government, stealing scientific knowledge with the apparently [...]

    2. Originally published on my blog here in June 2004.At the start of this novel, the main characters (Major Mann of the CIA and the narrator, a British agent) pick up a Soviet defector in the middle of the Sahara Desert. This is an unusual start for a spy novel, where it would be more common for the plot to work up to the retrieval of the defector. But here the point of the novel is the investigation of some leaks of US research to the Russians, and it is this which makes Professor Bekuv valuable, [...]

    3. "There's often a world of difference between what things mean, and what they are supposed to mean."This is only going to be a short one (“phew!”), as even though it was by the (otherwise) great Len Deighton, it really didn’t connect with me in any meaningful way. I don’t feel as though I’ve ever really got to know the two main characters. Nor any of the minor ones. I never really felt attached to them in any meaningful way.A Soviet (we’re back on the Cold War period here), is defecti [...]

    4. I'm a latecomer to Len Deighton's novels. I first read "Blitzkrieg" over thirty years ago and followed that with "Fighter" and "Battle of Britain", but for some reason I have never read one of his novels until now. It's a well written novel. Understated and full of little clues that the reader will come back to later and go "Ah-ha" when it becomes apparent what the events were foreshadowing.The story is interesting as well in that on the surface it seems to be very simple, but there is actually [...]

    5. (NOTE: My copy is entitled Catch A Falling Spy, which is the US title for the same book.) Like Spy Story, this is another of Deighton’s “nameless hero” novels that isn’t about Harry Palmer. It may not even be the same guy in in Spy Story, but it arguably doesn't matter since the main focus of the book is CIA agent Major Mickey Mann, who is working with the unnamed British agent to aid in the defection of Andrei Bekuv, a Russian scientist searching the skies for alien life who may know wh [...]

    6. This is like Ian Fleming writing hard-boiled detective fiction. The story is fine enough, the writing well-done on the minimalist side, the pacing is good, lots of action without having to wait around too much for the exposition to conclude the only distracting thing is what is somewhat distracting in all hard-boiled fiction: every character is hard-boiled! They talk in metaphors a lot and use, lets say, obtuse descriptions: "From the air, it looks like a clutter of fancy boxes, washed on to a [...]

    7. I read this when I was at school, and a lot of it must have gone over my head, because I could remember barely any of it (except for one scene on an Irish farm, in the rain, which leaped back at me with perfect clarity as soon as I reached it). What stands out this time is what a smart writer Deighton is. His characters may not have a great deal of depth, but their descriptions are spot on. No conversation can occur without a background event that either tells us more about the characters involv [...]

    8. For newcomers to Len Deighton this book would be a pretty good start. It contains all the Deighton elements, particularly a degree of misinformation, observations of events and items without comment which would guide the alert reader (I have never been alert enough) and great interaction between the main players. "You've never been a very good loser have you?" - "Well, I haven't had as much practice as you." Not to mention a rollercoaster ride all over the western hemisphere. You've got to conce [...]

    9. It's a minor point but I do like the fact that as a cookbook author, he also includes plenty of references to food in his books. With other spy novels I find myself wondering if they ever stop for lunch.Not as good as some of his other titles, such as the Harry Palmer books, but still it's a pretty good example of his work. He tends to focus more on the actual work of being a spy without too much reliance on gadgets or weapons, while still including plenty of action.

    10. 1970's Macho spy thriller. Plenty of twists and turns, exciting if sometimes the motivations for some twists are vague or unlikely. The last outing for the nameless spy that first appeared in the classic Ipcress Files - this is not up to that standard but a good one. In previous books much of the fun is derived from the wise cracking nameless Spy - this time the wordplay is doubled with the addition of a partner Major Mann. A worthwhile flash back to the 1970's.

    11. Len Deighton's spy novels from the 60s and 70s (along with Adam Hall's Quiller books) energized a publishing trend that probably started with Eric Ambler. This one was a worthy addition, involving the defection of a Russian scientist, two trips to the North African desert, and a Soviet mole. It's exciting stuff full of wry humor.

    12. Re-reading a Deighton classic. I loved it when I read it the first time, when I was still in India, and knew hardly anything about USA, but now that the situation is different, some of the situations seem a bit unbelievable, at least in these times. Still, the book remains a good read if you grew up during the time of the Cold War.

    13. A good conclusion to a Cold War thriller. Most of the plot lines are concluded (dealt with) properly. However, there is enough left unanswered to provide space for another in the "Secret File" series. The series is well worth reading, especially for those fans of "espionage fiction".

    14. I have recently re-read this book and I had forgotten just how much the plot is about betrayal. Betrayal by everybody. The sardonic humour of the main protagonist rescues the novel and I loved it as much as I loved it when I first read it.

    15. A great opening with subsequent glimpses of intrigue and intelligent (and well researched) writing, but for me the story never really took off in the way I hoped.

    16. Is it the agent from earlier books? Again I'd say yes, or a doppelgänger. For any Deighton fan it's in his classic style with some lovely descriptive writing

    17. Classic Deighton, but I'm not as enamoured with the 'Harry Palmer' books as most. There you go, can't win 'em all. An enjoyable read.

    18. I haven't read a lot of Deighton's books. This was an excellent cold war spy thriller; defectors, chases across 3 continents, well-paced and well-crafted. I liked very much.

    19. Perfectly serviceable international cold war thriller. Never got ludicrous despite the extraterrestrial elements of the plot.

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