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Dirty Tricks

By Chapman Pincher

Chapman Pincher was the British journalist who gained notoriety during the Cold War era for his relentless investigation into the extent of Soviet infiltration of the western world.

He came to be feared by the government of the day for his exposure of bungling and ineptitude at the heart of the establishment. It was Pincher who was instrumental in the unmasking of the Cambridge five, the greatest spy scandal in British history.

Having published some best-selling exposés, he turned his hand to novels. In Dirty Tricks he deploys all his familiarity with the murky world of MI5 and the CIA to dazzling effect. The action moves briskly between Washington, London and Moscow. Top CIA man, bachelor, horse breeder and American aristocrat John Falconer uncovers Soviet sympathies in the British Labour government. The American ambassador to London is a left wing Democrat, might she be conspiring with the British PM? Russian spies and KGB men commit murder and disruption. Smooth British MI5 boss Mark Quinn and his assistant Angela are not to be trusted.

Originally published in 1980 this is a wonderful cold war novel, vastly entertaining and written right from the inside of the ‘special relationship’. It also serves as an invaluable glimpse into the political atmosphere at that time, and completely captures an iconic era in the history of espionage.

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