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The Silent Game

By David Stafford

The spy novel is a twentieth-century phenomenon that quickly established itself as a best-selling genre of thriller writing.

Who were the writers of these pacey, danger-ridden adventures? What were their motives? And what was the secret of their success?

From the early part of the century, when spy writers wove stories of handsome heroes rescuing beautiful women from the clutches of villains, to the present day’s concerns with double-agents and superpower politics, spy novels have reflected the preoccupations of their times. And the best writers, such as John Buchan, Compton Mackenzie, Ian Fleming, John le Carre and Graham Greene, have all had personal experience of the ‘silent game’ of international espionage. 

The highly political genre of spy-writing enables writers to explore such powerful themes as patriotism, loyalty, subversion and treason, as well as to create elaborate plots and heroic exploits that are often closer to life than one would suspect.

Eloquently written and impeccably researched, The Silent Game is essential reading for everyone who wonders where, in the world of secret agents and international spies, imagination and reality meet.

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