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The Venetian Affair

3.87  ·  Rating Details  ·  622 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
A game of espionage ...

Fenner burned Rosenfeld's message, reminding himself wryly that he was behaving in the very best tradition. This was a game not too difficult to learn, he thought. A game? A game in deadly earnest. A vacation in Venice that was grim business. A girl constantly beside him who wasn't his. How the hell had he walked into this upside-down world? Where, h
Paperback, 349 pages
Published 1966 by Fontana Books (first published 1963)
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Dec 21, 2014 Kent rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another well written book about how well the enemies of freedom skillfully work at undermining the peoples' trust in the American government and principles which we have historically held to among our own people and the world. They do not care for truth, they do not care for freedom, and they hold no regard at all for the lives of anyone except themselves.
Even though this was written in the early 1960s, I feel the ideas about manipulating public opinion through carefully manufactured "evidence"
Jeff Crosby
I was very pleased when the Helen MacInnes novels began to appear as ebooks in 2013. I marked over half of them as books I wanted to re-read.

I discovered Helen MacInnes when I read the paperback of Snare of the Hunter in 1975, and I was hooked. Reading at least seven more of her novels that year, including The Venetian Affair.

I needed something different this weekend, and found Venetian Affair in my Kindle stash. So here I am, 40 year later, reading one of my favorite espionage authors. I had fo
Mar 04, 2015 Andrea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Venetian Affair begins with a secret meeting between two men plotting, and then shifts to the main character, an American journalist, who gets involved with the spies by accident, but becomes more deeply committed as the story unfolds. Fenner has an interesting back story, with a troublesome ex-wife. Eager to put the past behind him and concentrate on the graceful, grey-eyed girl with the white gloves that he keeps encountering, Fenner nevertheless keeps finding himself being set up with peo ...more
This is a re-read from high school. Our Mom read all of MacInnes and so did I. So sexist and so long... but modern for the time. The female spy was strong until she fell in love.
Though the sentence structure is bulky, it is familiar and comfortable at the same time. I was surprised at the random shift in POV throughout, and also surprised that it worked as well as it did. It was very interesting to read this again. Made me miss my Mom and all the books she read and shared.
Feb 26, 2012 Becki rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is no synopsis online for this book…it was published in 1963. I’ve also owned it for a while (but not since 1963). I think I picked it up at a local library about 5 years ago. It was on the sidewalk in a box full of books marked FREE. What can I say?...I’m a sucker for free books.
Basically this is a government espionage story set in during the Cold War with a little romance thrown in.
It took me a couple of chapters to get into it. However, once I got into it, I read it in three days. Okay,
Apr 15, 2016 Theresa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suspense
I seem to be in the mood for cloak-and-dagger type fiction these days, as I seem to be on a MacInnes kick!

This book moved faster than the others I have read (so far) by this author (in fact, I read "The Venetian Affair" in two days).

Bill Fenner is a journalist sent to Paris to review and write some articles on French theater and the arts.

"The man across the aisle seemed adept at air travel, after all. He was already secure in his safety belt, and was setting his watch forward. He certainly wasn
Helen MacInness wrote a number of espionage novels during her career. The enemy changed according to the times. During the Cold War the Communists are clearly the bad guys and anyone who listens to them are dupes. Her books from the 1940s had the Nazis as the villains and her books from the 1970s used terrorists.
I have held onto my paperback copies of a lot of her books and re-read them periodically, because the plot and the action hold my attention even when I'm cringing at the McCarthyite tone
Trish Perkins
Jul 24, 2014 Trish Perkins rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't think it is dated. It is a book about a different time in history. A historical spy novel and a well-done one at that. I got into it and couldn't stop. It is brilliantly plotted, human, and makes one wish for a time when we were still the good guys.
Nov 16, 2010 Genevieve rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
Another solid spy thriller from Helen MacInnes. I always feel like she should be more known today, since her books hold up better than you'd perhaps expect.
This makes an amazing starting place for the shamefully overlooked novels of a terrific writer.
Time for some fast paced Cold War-travelogue-romance fiction! MacInnes gives us enough interior landscape of the characters - their inner dialogue with themselves - to make the people sympathetic to us. The extremely thorough descriptions of Venice were a little too thorough - every canal and alley and crumbling building! It did, however, bring back memories of a brief and unpleasant visit I made to Venice, once, which made the setting all the more threatening. The Cold War plot, written by a wo ...more
Aug 21, 2015 Melanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I discovered Helen MacInnes many years ago. I am so glad that I rediscovered her books on the shelf at my local public library.
Jan 05, 2015 Jeanettka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
her books are fast paced, suspenseful and packed with European scenery; at the same time, they are a bit formulaic and with some romantic sappiness
May 07, 2016 Melinda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Took me a while to get into then I was hooked.
Jan 31, 2016 Amina rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Don't bother finishing
Dec 13, 2014 Ren rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Solid "analog" spy novel, set and written in 1963; occasionally a bit mechanical but brisk, slick, and authoritative.
Jun 28, 2013 Elaine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You will find this one somewhat dated, but it was an excellent thriller/mystery. Helen MacInnes was an author who could really keep the suspense going, without vicarious violence.
So cheesy! I read it at the beach. One character actually thinks about another one, "You're as pretty a piece of honey cake as I've ever seen." Honey cake!
Oct 14, 2010 Geegee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved this political thriller. More thought, less action than the usual. Also intriguing since written before the cuban missile crisis, etc.
Aug 22, 2013 Margareth8537 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spies
Always enjoy MacInnes. Just enough romance. but mainly a Cold War spy story - with one of her fascinating settings
Aug 14, 2013 msleighm rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
from a friend; dated - espionage. still, it was interesting to see the cold war from a European perspective.
Geo Forman
after two recommendations of Helen Macinnes in one week, how could I not pick up one of her books?
Teresa D
An intense fast paced thriller. Good read.
Jun 19, 2010 Aiisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
re-read 6/17/2010
Beth marked it as to-read
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Jane Melle rated it it was amazing
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Emily Espey rated it really liked it
May 15, 2016
Elaine rated it it was amazing
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Helen MacInnes was a Scottish-American author of espionage novels. She graduated from the University of Glasgow in Scotland in 1928 with a degree in French and German. A librarian, she married Professor Gilbert Highet in 1932 and moved with her husband to New York in 1937 so he could teach classics at Columbia University. She wrote her first novel, Above Suspicion, in 1939. She wrote many bestsell ...more
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