XPD
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XPD

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  1,063 ratings  ·  19 reviews
June 11, 1940 – where is Winston Churchill?


A private aircraft takes off from a small town in central France, while Adolf Hitler, the would-be conqueror of Europe, prepares for a clandestine meeting near the Belgian border.


For more than forty years the events of this day have been Britain’s most closely guarded secret. Anyone who learns of them must die - with their file st...more
Paperback, 464 pages
Published May 28th 2009 by Harper (first published 1981)
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Alain Dewitt
This was a suspense thriller that was almost completely lacking in action and suspense. The characters are a melange of good guys (British SIS (aka MI-6) and CIA) and bad guys (Nazis and Russians) but the plot is never really fleshed out. The book concerns some Nazi documents that are hidden at the end of the war (along with a cache of Nazi gold) that have damning evidence of how Churchill tried to sue for peace in the dark days of May 1940. And while this would be an embarrassing admission, it'...more
CD
I had read this book, who knows how long ago. It finally became very familiar about 75 pages or so in to the story.

One of those many WWII/Nazi/Occupied France spy thriller that so dominated the popular fiction market for years. A reasonably well done, though improbable, story line even in the face of various true tales that have emerged as time has passed. Another attempt to play on the real Rudolf Hess story in one way or another.

This is only a quick review from a genre that I spent many hours...more
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in July 2004.

The second of an (otherwise unrelated) trio of Deighton novels concerned with the Second World War, XPD is actually set in 1979, contemporary with its writing. It is close as Deighton has got to the idea driven thrillers of Frederick Forsyth, and has many similarities to The Odessa File, published almost a decade earlier. It deals with a plot by a group of former SS officers to sieze power in Germany. Their plans are based around the publication...more
Speesh
I would imagine, if you are like me of a certain age, and you have done a Michael Caine impression, you have probably done him as either his character from Zulu, or one of his early spy films. And they, The Ipcress File, Funeral In Berlin, etc, were written by one of the masters of the genre, Len Deighton.

Deighton along with le Carré, defined the later Cold War, spy-era, nipping back and forth over/under the Berlin Wall, novel. Deighton, for me, always felt a little more working class in his foc...more
rabbitprincess
Jun 24, 2012 rabbitprincess rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: established Deighton fans
"XPD": n., also v., stands for "Expedient Demise". Happens to those who find out information that the intelligence community does not want them to know.

In this Len Deighton novel, the information that causes XPD orders to be issued is the existence of the so-called "Hitler Minutes" -- reports of a meeting between Churchill and Hitler in 1940 that involved peace negotiations of a nature that would be abhorrent to the Allies. The story follows MI6 agent Boyd Stuart as he works to prevent the docum...more
Louis Shalako
I've read some of the criticisms of the book, and I can see below that some people give it five stars. I had just read another thriller, and was pleasantly surprised...at first. That other book had some holes in the logic. But when Boyd Stuart drives away from the farmhouse, the place blows up, and he goes back, finding the old man's body and a wall safe, and removes some documents, where is the old lady? Didn't she go off to milk the cows? Where exactly did she go? The protag seems to miss this...more
Steve
This is my first Len Deighton book and I found it an easy light read for this genre of book. Maybe old fashioned for todays world, even James Bond has altererd beyond recognition, but none the less for someone's first dip into spy novels it worth a try. The storyline is a good one and the plot not hard to follow, and yes some characters do seem wooden, maybe they are in that world. Boyd Stewart is the experienced spy sent to track down some damning war time papers about Churchill and Hitler and...more
Philip
XPD is one of my favorite Len Deighton stories. I'm sure of that because I've read it at least three times, now. It has among the best plot twists of Deighton's novels, but I think the appeal of this one is, atypically, the characters at the center who aren't spies, just poor schlubs who are caught in the middle but who have a fascinating intertwined history and some strength of character and sense of morality. Particularly, and again atypically, the American character Charles Stein, whose girth...more
Hereswhatsgoingon
XPD is a classic Deighton Cold War spy story, based on the premise that Churchhill and Hitler had secret meetings in the war, something MI6 of the 1970s is desperate to keep secret. I liked the characters and enjoyed watching the tale unfold.
Veeral
A story where nothing major happens for most of the plot. This could have been better if given the plot, Deighton could have made it more intense.

Anyways, I read this quite a while ago and the only thing I remember about it is that I was bored most of the time while reading it. But as it was written by Len Deighton, I persisted. I wouldn't say I was happy with the book in the end, but it was not that bad either.

But read this only if you have more time on your hands.
Cdh0061
This book is espionage fiction. However, twenty years has dated the work into a place between spy caper and historical fiction, automatically demoting it to a three. There is not enough actual fact to carry it into long term respectability. The plot extended itself into an almost uncomfortable burden to finish. Learned a lot about British prime ministers of the 60s and 70s though. Education in its own way.
Tim
A mixture of two interests of Deighton, the world of agents and the world of film.
I'm not sure this book quite does it for me, interesting but not his best.
Deightons interests in film resulted in his novel about a fading Hollywood star and he also wrote the screenplay for ' Oh What a Lovely War ' although he had his name removed from the credits due disagreements.
Marilyn
XPD means...Expedient Demise. This is a spy story (Russia, Great Britain, USA)...but copyrighted in 1981 so...rather old. I found it very hard to follow. Had to reread lots of pages to figure out what was actually going on. I had to finish it...but...I it took me forever to read because it was hard going all the way. Wouldn't recommend.
Fredrick Danysh
In this novel, a "XPD" stamp on a personnel file is a death warrant. In 1944 Churchill and Hitler to discuss surrendering the British army. Now the secret documents are starting to surface and everyone wants them
Ian Carey
Really wanted to like this one, but it just never pulled me in the way other spy novels (Le Carre, Stenhauer) have. (Also his Americans sound British.)
Andrew Salmon
Slow, plodding and I hate to say it, boring. This is no my first Deighton and won't be my last but I expected more from this author. Next!
James
Ok i guess somewhat clunky plot and not half as good as his other books
Steven Kent
I couldn't put this book down.
Alain
Fun, fun, fun!
Alexander Hale
Alexander Hale marked it as to-read
Sep 16, 2014
Alexander widrow
Alexander widrow marked it as to-read
Sep 15, 2014
Moustached
Moustached marked it as to-read
Sep 15, 2014
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31234
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) Mexico Set (Bernard Samson, #2) London Match (Bernard Samson, #3) Funeral in Berlin

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