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London Match (Bernard Samson #3)

4.10  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,573 Ratings  ·  63 Reviews
With treason epidemic in London Central, a cloud of suspicion passes over each senior agent, and each falls helplessly into Moscow Centre's brilliant, complex trap. As LONDON MATCH rushes toward its amazing climax, the ultimate, decisive confrontation is about to take place--between Samson and the British KGB agent who, from the very beginning, has held Samson's entire lif ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 437 pages
Published December 12th 1986 by Ballantine Books (first published 1985)
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Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le CarréThe Bourne Identity by Robert LudlumThe Spy Who Came In from the Cold by John le CarréThe Hunt for Red October by Tom ClancyThe Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth
Best Spy Novels
112th out of 870 books — 1,532 voters
The Spy Who Came In from the Cold by John le CarréTinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le CarréThe Day of the Jackal by Frederick ForsythThe Bourne Identity by Robert LudlumThe Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy
Espionage
71st out of 699 books — 826 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Davidg
Jun 27, 2013 Davidg rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bought along with a number of others in the series in the cheap section of a local charity shop. I had read the original trilogy when it first came out and thought it ok but not special. It is certainly not in the same class as Le Carre.

I have problems with the KGB and MI5 allowing suspect agents or recently returned spies free reign and no oversight. I am sure there would be extensive periods of garden leave and debriefing and not going straight into the field. And would a British KGB agent be
...more
John Defrog
Nov 25, 2013 John Defrog rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The final book in the Game Set & Match trilogy, in which Bernard Samson helps capture a KGB courier using information from former KGB major Erich Stinnes – whom Samson convinced to defect in the previous book. But the courier’s confession implies that there is another KGB mole in London Central – which is bad news for Samson, whose loyalty has been questioned since his wife turned out to be a KGB mole herself. Now he must find out who the mole is – or if the courier is lying. Deighton delive ...more
Brad Lyerla
Jun 20, 2016 Brad Lyerla rated it it was amazing
Read BERLIN GAME, MEXICO SET AND LONDON MATCH in order without a break. You will enjoy it immensely.
Johnny Waco
The last volume of Deighton's "Game, Set, Match" trilogy falls short of the quality of the previous books, but not too far. Bernard Samson is still dealing with the emotional and professional fallout from his wife Fiona's defection to the Soviets, and with his growing suspicions about the KGB defector Erich Stinnes. The intermingling of national and romantic infidelity provides a thoughtful subtext here. Not a mile-a-minute thriller, but an emotionally resonant and compelling one, a fitting conc ...more
Peter
Oct 03, 2011 Peter rated it really liked it
3rd in the trilogy but not quite the best of the three. Several twists and turns I didn't work out in advance, which is the test of a mystery/thriller novel and I really enjoyed some of the passages which expose the buffoonery of civil service life. I think Leighton pulls his punches when dealing with Fiona - she's either entirely cold-hearted and scheming or she's not. Don't keep trying to give her a soft centre!
Jose Vera
Oct 07, 2014 Jose Vera rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tercera y última entrega de la primera trilogía de Bernard Samson.

Como en los libros anteriores (y espero que en los demás también), Deigthon nos envuelve con trama intensa, llena de giros y sorpresas que nos mantiene pegados a la lectura.

Luego que Stinnes desertara en México el servicio de inteligencia británico se encuentra destruyendo redes de espionaje enemigas gracias a la información ha proporcionado. Uno de esos soplos lleva a Bernard a realizar una redada en Berlín para atrapar a un func
...more
Thomas
Oct 18, 2015 Thomas rated it really liked it
Satisfying conclusion to the first Bernard Samson trilogy. Deighton tried to make every entry in this series readable as a stand alone novel. While that approach has definite advantages (I came in at Mexico Set, then went back and read Berlin Game and finally this installment and still enjoyed all three), it also means you're going to hear things like the sartorial and interior design tastes of certain characters in detail at least once in each book. Also, the scenes that focus on Samson's home ...more
Bradley West
Jun 24, 2016 Bradley West rated it liked it
Shelves: thrillers
London Match dragged for the middle half. Deighton committed to the trilogy (and already had another six books outlined), and I think he ran out of plot or had a serious case of le Carre envy with over-the-top character expositions. I like Bernard Samson, Werner and Deighton's coverage of Berlin. As I worked to the end of Game, Set and Match in under a year, I was increasingly bored with his girlfriend Gloria, sister-in-law Tessa, and Samson's three closest workmates, Dicky, Frank and Brett.

The
...more
Jim
Sep 27, 2013 Jim rated it really liked it
London Match is the concluding novel in the first of three trilogies featuring Bernard Samson. Samson suspects that there is a traitor within his department of MI6, due to the appearance of a memorandum which was leaked to the KGB.
Jak60
Jan 06, 2016 Jak60 rated it really liked it
This is the third book by Len Deighton I read after Berlin Game and Mexico Set; they are good books and I would recommend to read them in this sequence. As I said in previous reviews, what I liked of these novels is the treatment of espionage as a chess-game, very close to the early John Le Carré; on the other side, I must admit that, after just finishing the third of these books, I felt some of the reading fatigue you feel when the stories and the contexts become a little repetitive. I repeat, ...more
Anthony
Apr 30, 2015 Anthony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is third book of the first Trilogy of the Bernard Samson Ennealogy by Len Deighton. Recommended for those Spy Thriller & Espionage fans who find something wanting in having fanatical terrorist groups or small rogue nations as the main bad guys in the post USSR break-up world, even if some of the books are spiced up by violence, ultra-high tech gadgets & weapons and other sexy stuff. I certainly didn't mind the lack of latter, as these were outweighed by the pleasure of reading MI6 t ...more
Carol
Aug 08, 2014 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, 2014, espionage
Back to the cold war and a good standard spy novel, set in the 1980's when the relationship between the great powers were at their coldest following the trials and tribulations of a former field agent from Berlin but now riding a desk back in London.

Like the previous three books in this series this book concentrates on vivid characterization, suspense, the occasional bit of off-beat humour, intricate plotting, betrayals, and redemptions rather than super-secret complex technology or gadgets. An
...more
Tim Prosser
Feb 13, 2014 Tim Prosser rated it really liked it

Bernard Samson, a middle-aged British Intelligence Officer in the 1970’s, former field agent in Berlin but now riding a desk back in London. Nine books chart his history with vivid characterization, suspense, the occasional bit of off-beat humour, intricate plotting, betrayals, and redemptions. The same set of characters, both the good and bad guys, basically move from book to book, allowing Mr Deighton to gradually fill-in their complexities, so that the books are far deeper than many spy novel
...more
Frances Sawaya
Apr 28, 2016 Frances Sawaya rated it liked it
"Good grief," said Frank, "There's never a clean ending to all this, is there"?
And so it is with the seemingly endless war, antagonisms, spying, and tauntings between Russia and USA. Decades go by, money and lives are squandered, ordinary folk and their hopes are manipulated/destroyed.

Deighton does a good job of presenting the frustrations of those caught in all those webs, especially in the first two books of this trilogy.
There are some unanswered questions throughout, e.g., what were Fiona's
...more
Kelanth
Feb 02, 2016 Kelanth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spionaggio
L'ultima partita, in originale "London Match" è un romanzo di spionaggio del 1985, dell'autore inglese Len Deighton. La sua produzione letteraria spazia dai romanzi di spionaggio e di suspense, ai libri di cucina e ai saggi storici. È il creatore del personaggio Harry Palmer, una spia britannica protagonista di una serie di romanzi e di film interpretati da Michael Caine. Tutti gli appassionati di spy-stories ricordano la figura di Michael Caine con gli occhiali e l'impermeabile. E' Harry Palmer ...more
Simon Mcleish
Feb 18, 2013 Simon Mcleish rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Originally published on my blog here in September 2004.

The third novel in the Game, Set and Match trilogy continues the story of how Bernard Samson copes with the aftermath of his wife's defection to the Soviet Union, the event which provided the climax to Berlin Game. KGB officer Erich Stinnes has in his turn defected - the central action of Mexico Set. And now it appears, from what London's intelligence services learn from Stinnes and other agents, that there is another KGB agent in a senior p
...more
Andrew Robins
Jul 12, 2012 Andrew Robins rated it really liked it
There are nine books in the Bernard Samson series, which is split into three batches - Berlin Game, Mexico Set and London Match being the first, then the later two being Spy Hook, Spy Line and Spy Sinker, followed by Faith, Hope and Charity.

I've now finished this, the last of the first three, and largely enjoyed them all. They're easier to read than, say, John Le Carre', but are relatively hefty books (this one was 450 odd pages), so Deighton takes his time weaving the plot lines.

Broadly speakin
...more
rabbitprincess
Apr 26, 2008 rabbitprincess rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: espionage fans, Cold War buffs, people who read Game and Set
Recommended to rabbitprincess by: the Top 100 list, but my dad likes Deighton too
Of the three books in the trilogy, this one was the hardest to put down. It was suspenseful, with twists and turns everywhere. As new complications arose, I could feel the world closing in on Samson, and as the last few chapters unfolded, I plowed along recklessly with him, heart in my throat, unsure of how it would all play out.

To be honest, I probably read the end of it *too* quickly, because I feel as if I missed a couple of things in my rush to find out how it ended. I shall keep this review
...more
Andre LeMagne
May 16, 2016 Andre LeMagne rated it really liked it
Now that I have finished the trilogy, I can't help but compare him to John le Carre. He has a similar gritty realism in his depiction of the world of espionage; he has an engaging way of developing his characters, almost like affectionate mockery, which reminds me of Raymond Chandler. But where he does not ascend to the level of le Carre is in creating a sense of tragedy, a sense that the characters missed an opportunity to leave the world better than it was. Le Carre's books are, in that sense, ...more
Du
May 27, 2016 Du rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
3.5 Stars. A wry ending to the trilogy. I continued to enjoy the British spy story and the craven characters and they way they drove the storytelling. There isn't a lot of development in this book, but that is because the characters are so well developed in the first two books. I will probably check out the remaining series at some point, because I am curious about Fiona's downfall.
Carolyn Crane
Apr 07, 2014 Carolyn Crane rated it really liked it
Shelves: suspense
This was fabulous until the end. Still, I love how Deighton weaves a workaday spy novel. He approaches spying almost as having a management problem, like any other job where workers know more than bosses.
Zoe Carney
Better than the second in the trilogy, not as good as the first. The conclusion to the Stinnes plot was a little unsatisfying, and some of the twists and turns stretched my suspension of disbelief to breaking point, but overall an engaging read.
Victor Gibson
Apr 05, 2012 Victor Gibson rated it really liked it
By now, having read Game and Set, London Match is a fitting conclusion to the first trio of Bernard Samson books. Bernard continues to deal with the difficulties of the London Central top floor and his immediate boss, Dicky Cruyer, while at the same time trying to work out what is reality and what is KGB misinformation.

As we move towards the climax of the book the violence escalates and people die. I have read all these book before as they came out, but it is absolutely painless to read them one
...more
Feliks
May 23, 2015 Feliks rated it it was amazing
Shelves: genre-thrillers
For anyone who thinks Len Deighton was not as good a writer as John LeCarre; please realize you are mistaken in underestimating him. This series of three books more than shows he can stand alongside his more well-known rival. Reading this work will demonstrate that to you fully. The two authors simply work in different styles, as one might expect of two separate talents. Deighton never needed to imitate LeCarre to produce works of equal stature in this genre. And by the way, Deighton's non-espio ...more
Tove Soderberg
Jan 12, 2015 Tove Soderberg rated it really liked it
Ljudbok. Inläsare James Lailey.
Brian Williams
Sep 24, 2014 Brian Williams rated it really liked it
You will love Bernard Samson.
Bill Bunn
A lovely read, for genre fiction.
Ronald
May 23, 2016 Ronald rated it really liked it
read some time in 1989
Jeff
Jul 28, 2015 Jeff rated it did not like it
dated and dull
Andy Theyers
Jul 15, 2015 Andy Theyers rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thriller
Taut. Tense. Perfect end to the Game, Set, Match trilogy. Genuinely impressed. Nowhere near as cerebral as John Le Carré, but the visceral nature makes them all the more readable, and the build up to the (in my view very unexpected) dénouement was really quite something. Hugely evocative of the Cold War era.
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Goodreads Librari...: Alternate book cover 2 7 Aug 08, 2014 11:42PM  
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Deighton was born in Marylebone, London, in 1929. His father was a chauffeur and mechanic, and his mother was a part-time cook.After leaving school, Deighton worked as a railway clerk before performing his National Service, which he spent as a photographer for the Royal Air Force's Special Investigation Branch. After discharge from the RAF, he studied at St Martin's School of Art in London in 1949 ...more
More about Len Deighton...

Other Books in the Series

Bernard Samson (9 books)
  • Berlin Game (Bernard Samson, #1)
  • Mexico Set (Bernard Samson, #2)
  • Spy Hook (Bernard Samson, #4)
  • Spy Line (Bernard Samson, #5)
  • Spy Sinker (Bernard Samson, #6)
  • Faith (Bernard Samson, #7)
  • Hope (Bernard Samson, #8)
  • Charity (Bernard Samson, #9)

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