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Mexico Set (Bernard Samson, #2)
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Mexico Set (Bernard Samson #2)

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  3,832 ratings  ·  61 reviews
Now on the shadowy East-West battlefield of Mexico City. British intelligence agent Bernard Samson must entice his opposite number, a disaffected KGB major, to take the final, dramatic step -- and defect.

But the price of one Russian's freedom must be paid in blood -- blood that Samson unexpectedly and incriminatingly finds on his own hands. On every side, he becomes danger...more
Paperback, 381 pages
Published April 29th 2010 by Harper (first published 1984)
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James
For some reason, I started reading these out of order. However, I enjoyed this tale enough to eventually invest in the entire 9/10 parts of the story - 3 trilogies and a prequel.

Bernard Samson is a man who seems out of his depth. Tasked with arranging the defection of a KGB man from Mexico. Meanwhile Bernard is still suffering from the defection of his wife - does anybody still trust him? Will the success of this job redeem him or is it doomed to failure anyway?
Chris Gager
This is the middle of the Bernard Samson trilogy but I read it first. Picked it up at the town transfer station. I like Deighton's style. No nonsense like Fleming, although that can be fun too. My first exposure was from the movie "The Ipcress File". Went on to read the first and third parts as well.

Further on... I think there're more Samson books besides these three.
Teresa
Jul 03, 2012 Teresa rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
After the defection of his wife Bernard Sampson is left to prove that he is a loyal, company man. The way he is supposed to do this is by persuading a senior KGB agent to defect. The agent is spotted in Mexico City and Bernard plus colleague is sent out there to start the process of enrolment Although Bernard grew up in Berlin and lives in London he is not particularly cosmopolitan. Len Deighton does an excellent job of having him reflect the typical English bloke of the time who doesn't like tr...more
Tim Prosser

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
John Defrog
The second installment in the Game Set Match trilogy of spy books, in which Bernard Sampson is tasked with convincing KGB major Erich Stinnes to defect to London. That would be hard enough, but there are two extra complications: (1) due to events in the first book, Sampson is under pressure to succeed in order to prove he’s still trustworthy as an agent and (2) someone in his own agency appears to be working to ensure he fails. Mexico Set is slightly better than its predecessor, Berlin Game, whi...more
Ensiform
Some more airport reading. Samson is sent to “enroll” a KGB agent, while his enemy --- his ex-wife in the KGB --- tries to make it look as if he’s a traitor. Again, Samson is pretty much the only competent around, and gets tangled up in a web of tricks and counter-tricks, made more deadly by the bungling of the “desk men” (as opposed to field agents like him) around him. The complex story is pretty well handled, but I just don’t find the trials and tribulations of Bernie Samson very suspenseful...more
Caroline
Liking it so far. Not as good as the first one, Berlin Game. Like reading a book about the cold war etc so many years after the collapse of communism and no mention of mobiles or computers! This was good but a little complex, not ideal for reading as you are falling asleep as you do have to pay attention to who is on which side of communism! However it was a clever book and one which despite its complete lack of technology, well certainly not the stuff I'm used to it was in many ways timeless. R...more
Linda
Remember these titles: "Berlin Game" "Mexico Set" "London Match"
"Spy Hook" "Spy Line" "Spy Sinker"

All by Len Deighton. All with protagonist Bernard Samson. Read them in that order, but READ THEM!

You know those kinds of novels that you love so much you mourn the loss of them when you're done reading them? Yeah, that's what this series is. I haven't yet read the next trilogy "Faith" "Hope" and "Charity", but I'm counting on you, Len! Don't let me down!
Jose Vera
El “Set de México” retoma la acción y personajes de “El juego de Berlín”.

La novela inicia con el viaje de Bernard Samson y Dick Cruyer a México. Werner Volkman les ha informado que se ha topado con Stinnes, el agente de la KGB que interrogó a Samson en Alemania Oriental.

Central de Londres quiere que Stinnes deserte y el encargado de la operación va a ser Samson. Lo que de por si ya es una labor delicada, se complica más cuando Bernard tenga que enfrentarse primeramente a las rencillas y luchas d...more
Peter
Slowish start - but what a great story-teller when he gets going! And he writes so cinemategraphically, I wonder if this was ever filmed? I must google it after writing this. And the really lovely thing is this is the start of a whole series, so I can noiw get a start on the next one. Than you Sarah for introducing me to Deighton!
Carol
Another espionage book set in the 1980's and second in the first Bernard Samson trilogy - it maybe an oldy but still a goody, which concentrates on people and not secret complex technological gadgets.

This book builds on the same set of characters from the first novel, which allows their complexities and depth to build. His hero, Samson has a realistic blundering feel, who makes mistakes and does not necessarily learn from them and is subject to the whims of ego, expectation and emotions. All of...more
Justus
The first book -- Berlin Game -- was a good but not great book. The sequel barely hits good most of the time. It wasn't the worst book I've ever read but it wasn't good enough to make me care to finish the trilogy and that's never a good sign.

The overall plot -- trying to woo a Soviet defector is extremely poorly handled. Samson keeps saying that it is "like a seduction" but he does virtually no work the entire book. Two conversations and the guy is ready to go.

That "seduction" at least makes mo...more
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in August 2004.

I don't think it would be possible to write sensibly about the second novel in the Game, Set and Match trilogy without giving away an important part of the plot of Berlin Game, the first one. So I'm not even going to try. (view spoiler)...more
Morgan Fivehands
I loved this book, I loved it more than Berlin Game. There are probably few writers who can conjure the feel of the espionage game so well as Deighton. Please get this straight - I personally know little history, and little of how real governments and the various secret services work. Perhaps if you consider yourself an expert on these subjects, you might find yourself picking holes in Deighton's superb tale. But I am a writer and I know a damn good story when I read one.

London want KGB pro Eric...more
Johnny Waco
The second volume of Deighton's "Game, Set, Match" trilogy contnues strongly in the vein of the first, as everyspy Bernard Samson finds himself under suspicion since his wife, Fiona, has now defected to the KGB, and he is charged with enticing one of the top East German agents to come over to MI-6. What I find so impressive about both Berlin Game and Mexico Set is the way Deighton enthralls the reader with middle-aged agents simply talking to and about one another; both books really only have on...more
Mary Warnement
Part two of Deighton's Bernard Samson series.
p. 130 A man could not take credit for taken in the way he could for cunning.
p. 206 For fear is so unwelcome that it comes inly in disguise, and guilt is its favorite one.
p. 320 ...tyranny of our father's love.
Davidg
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. So, why is Bernard roaming all...more
Laura
There are two things I can't seem to get enough of: series books (no trying to figure out what to read next, you know you have to continue on in the story) and anything about the cold war. So I'm truly thrilled to have found out about these. Good job Goodreads! Len Deighton is much easier to read than John Le Carre (my other go to for cold war fiction). At times, I even find myself chuckling out loud about Bernard Sampson's wry observations. Len Deighton has made some truly delightful characters...more
Victor Gibson
I am reading all nine of the Bernard Samson books in order. I can't imagine why I never thought of this before. So Mexico Set is the second of the first trio. In this book Bernard is faced with the task of attempting to enrol Eric Stinnes, a KGB agent with similar background and experience to our hero. He is aided and abetted by a number of women, his wife the formidable Fiona, his best friend's wife, the duplicitous Zena Volkmann, his wife's sister the glamorous Tessa Kozinski and last - but no...more
John
Absolutely fanfuckingtastic. Even better than Berlin Game. Can't wait to read the third and last book of the series.
Brian Williams
Read this series many years ago. Good enough to read again.
Amy Difar
Awesome, awesome series. Berlin Game, Mexico Set, London Match. One of the best cold war books (series) I ever read. Unlike many other spy novelists, Len Deighton's books' plots are followable. I came across London Match in a convenience store and had to buy it. Finished it in two days and immediately went to the store to buy Berlin Game and Mexico Set. Read those and then re-read London Match again.
Gabe
It was a fun read, but the first one was better. Continuing to spin out the story with the same cast of characters, things get a bit repetitive. I enjoyed it but might wait awhile to pick up the next one.
Clare Mckenzie
This is about my 4th read of this trilogy - I get something different from it each time and this time was no exception. Deighton doesn't spell the storyline out - you have to work for it, one of the reasons I think I get more from it each time I read it. That said, this is a great spy story, it moves along at a cracking pace and has engaging characters who are by now, for me, very familiar.
Bill Bunn
Oldy, but a goody. Deighton is an excellent writer. This is as character driven as this kind of novel gets. Lots of nicely written scenes. The spies are human in this story, not the muscle-bound US navy seals who never lose.
AmblingBooks
"Deighton is a marvel...few authors writing in the rigorous and finite genre of spy fiction have mastered the craft as well as Deighton...Mexico Set is a pure tale, told by an author at the height of his power." � Chicago Tribune

Listen to Mexico Set on your iPhone, desktop, or smartphone.
Jeff Crosby
Solid second volume to the Game, Set and Match trilogy. Bernard Samson is a believable character who just happens to be a spy. His domestic situation is somewhat unusual, but it helps set the stage as the story unfolds. The opening chapters are a bit disjointed, making it a difficult start, but as events develop the story moves ahead, drawing you in.
Bazbal666
I figured out why I like this series so much upon finishing this one, Bernard simply hates everything. There are at least 25 pages dedicated to the character assassination of his boss "Dicky". These books are like studies in judgement and contempt, but not in a negative way, more like a totally fun and entertaining way
Andrew Robins
Second in the Game, Set and Match (Berlin Game, Mexico Set, London Match) series of Bernard Samson books, and very enjoyable with it.

Having said that, for some reason, it too me a long while to get through the 400 odd pages, so not quite as "sticky" as the first in the series, Berlin Game.
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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...
The Ipcress File (Secret File, #1) Berlin Game (Bernard Samson, #1) London Match (Bernard Samson, #3) Funeral in Berlin SS-GB

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