It�s the height of the Cold War, and as the Great Fog rolls in over London, a man meets his death in the icy shallows of the Long Water. Some say he was just drunk, wandering throug...more
Starling, Boris – 4th book
An Onyx Book, 2008, US Paperback ISBN – 9780451412508
First Sentence: The fog was coming, without and within.
Det. Herbert Smith is dealing with a body found in the shallows of the Long Water and trying to investigate a case where England’s Five, the espionage division of which Smith had been a member, the CIA and the KGB.
Making the investigation even more difficult is the worst fog London has ever seen, but Smith i...more
I wish I could have liked this more, but despite her, I found this intensely tedious...more
VISIBILITY could be a reference to the fog which is all pervading and dictates all of the action and events in this post-war thriller. When biochemist Max Stensness is found drowned in early in the evening, in the middle of the fog, Herbert Smith, ex-MI5 and now member of Scotland Yard's Murder Squad gets the case because it's probably going to be an un...more
I had never heard of British female scientist Rosalind Franklin, who played a role int he discovery of the double helix nature of DNA, though she was never formally honored -- not even by Watson or Crick, when they received a Nobel prize for their work, which she had unknowingly facilitated.
But this mystery -- supposed fiction -- dances through some solid historical facts.
I loved the primary characters. Herbert Smi...more
The novel takes place during the Great Fog of 1952. What a great setting for a spy story, don't you think? When Herbert takes a case involving a man found in the Long Water, he takes on more than he realizes.
I loved the character development in this book. Herbert and...more
Visibility isn’t awful and is, in fact, entertaining. It serves its purpose, at any rate. Set in London in 1952 during one of the worst fogs in English history, this cop/spy thriller has all the requisite pieces necessary to do the job of being a thriller.
I will say, however, that the book some...more
The cast involves spies from the three main Cold War nations, but which is the murderer, and why. It turns out that the plot revolves around genetics and the race to uncover th...more
This one makes use of a killer fog/smog that chokes London for days and provides cover for various acts of mayhem. There's a sort of anti-hero who falls in love with a blind girl who survived Mengele. Conniving spies, rival agencies, plenty of gore.
But I got sick of the damn fog about halfway through.
The characters occasionally break out in decidedly 21st century slang; "Do the math." "Awesome" (not used in the sense of "inspiring...more
Starling makes you want to wheeze as he relates the filth and grime of the fog and how it impacts upon London closing down most transportation routes and poisoning the population with its noxiousness.
The "hero-of-the-piece" is Herbert Smith, an ex-MI5 operative who now, as a detective inspector at New Scotland Yard, is called to a suspicious drowning... The plot now takes a twist when we discover the identit...more
hadnt read Starling for a while, as hadn't overly enjoyed vodka, but this one was great.
I liked the loner we had in Herbert, and thought the setting in the great fog of London was very atmospheric.
There were plenty of twists and turns to the plot with spies, and double agents, and more spies, that I never once had an idea who did it... which is always good.
will be happily passing this on to someone with a thumbs up
Overall, pretty readable until the detailed science explanations, then a glazing of the eyes for this reader. I liked it for the characters and the movement of the plot. Kept it interesting and the reader a little off balance.
J. Robert Ewbank, author "John Wesley, Natural Man, and the 'Isms'"