Oct 15, 11
Read from October 12 to 15, 2011
Professionalism and emotions are like similar poles of a magnet. No matter how much you try to bring them closer together, they will want to move away from each other. In real life such a coming together is not without its share of disasters. A small thread of what is contained in this story is what I wanted to capture in the lines above. I found this to be a mixed bag, while not entirely an espionage thriller this is an immensely readable book.
The backdrop is quite an interesting one with Germany & the allies warily circling each other during the decisive phase of WWII. As is expected from such a cliffhanger tale, the outcome of this time depends on a principal character in this story. A very competent German intelligence operative and a pair of spy-catchers on his trail which extends all over London and into a very isolated place in the middle of nowhere. The spy's dilemma comes in when he meets a woman for whom he like a teenager falls for in heads-over-heels love. It is the remaining part of the story that makes it readable. Such a story line has been used and over used in books and movies but I still found this to be enjoyable. One reason for this was that the book moved very quick, it did not drag its feet on dreary details nor did it propose to be anything other than a good page turner.
The hope & never ending hardiness of a nation under war is captured well in this tale.There is a part in the tale when two of the characters come across a shop which has been more or less bombed out. Out a shattered window hangs a hand painted sign More open than usual . Such little observations are aplenty in the book. Ken Follett is a good story teller but one thing that I find in both of his books that I have read is that his characters are not entirely human. This in the sense that they are either purely white or purely black, the sense of grey shades in people are not entirely existent. It was a good page turner but not entirely something that falls into the espionage genre for me.