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3.76  ·  Rating details ·  1,668 Ratings  ·  36 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
ebook, 464 pages
Published November 1st 2009 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published March 9th 1981)
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Simon Mcleish
Feb 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
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
Pranav Deshpande
A classic espionage novel by the original master of that genre. It deals with a flashback fictional clandestine meeting between Churchill and Hitler at the height of the Second World War, which is central to the plot. There is a parallel story regarding a hunt for stolen Nazi war loot, also a flashback. And then there are present day spy games between Moscow Centre, the Germans, the Brits and the Americans, each looking for their own piece of pie and each with conflicting motives - one faction w ...more
Alain Dewitt
Sep 20, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
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
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
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.
Almustafa Couch
A good book, but certainly not Len Deighton's greatest, the text was easy to get lost (side-tracked) in. But if you are able to maintain focus then the penultimate and ultimate chapters would provide an adequate summary.
Graham Powell
Not Deighton's best. It doesn't seem to have the urgency of his Harry Palmer or Bernard Samson books.
Christian, Kelanth, Scala
Xpd, è un romanzo di spionaggio del 1981, dell'autore inglese Len Deighton. Questo libro venne anche trasmesso radiofonicamente a puntate dalla BBC nel 1985. La sua produzione letteraria spazia dai romanzi di spionaggio e di suspense, ai libri di cucina e ai saggi storici. È il creatore del personaggio Harry Palmer, una spia britannica protagonista di una serie di romanzi e di film interpretati da Michael Caine. Tutti gli appassionati di spy-stories ricordano la figura di Michael Caine con gli o ...more
Mar 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A clever expansion of a controversial what if moment from WW2 with a smart twist at the end .
Feb 03, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spies
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
Jan 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reminds me how much I need to get back to him.

It's not just the action, or the story, which is almost secondary at times but the themes which he keeps returning to, which are always correct, and very dear to me. Bureaucracy; political infighting; snobbery; disdain for systems contrived to make others fail; cynicism about the modern world; a dim look on many present personalities one is likely to encounter - yet this book is 30 years old. So there's prescience, too.

That said, the story - stolen N
Feb 11, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A mixture of two interests of Deighton, the world of agents and the world of film.
Much of it has possible factual basis from published reports and memoirs, mainly places, dates and principal characters.
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 to disagreements.

This book a
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 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
Jan 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I started this book on the 31st of December '15 and it took me some time to finish.

This is my first book of 2016 and I must say that the plot was well thought out but it lacked a hero.

The author clearly stated that he has written this as a third person book with no hero, but it means that this is like a ship with no rudder.

It takes us over the course of a great plot but it seems that we are going really fast and enjoying the ride but we have no clue where the end is.

I felt there were too many, a
Jan 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: espionage
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
Nov 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 09, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this 2009 edition at a second-hand book stall somewhere in the UK for some airplane reading, realising that I had probably read it some 30 years ago when it was first published. It's still a ripping spy thriller, although the basic premise of the plot -- that public knowledge of a clandestine wartime meeting between Churchill and Hitler would somehow bring Britain crumbling to its knees -- is rather less believable in 2014 than it might have been in 1981. Not Deighton's best in my vi ...more
Aug 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read some of Deighton's books many years ago, but other than "The Ipcress File", I don't recall any of them, though as I begin to read his books again, some of which I'm quite sure will be re-reads, I'm happy that his rediscovery. The story "XPD" had many side stories that come together creating that wonderful climax that I so desire. Mr. Deighton is a superb writer. His detailed description of car crash in this novel is splendid.
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.
Brenda Leavy
Jan 02, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Hardcore fans of Deighton
Shelves: novels
I am a huge Deighton fan, but cannot find anything to recommend about this book. It was filled with possibilities..secret meetings between Churchill and Hitler...Hollywood film making in the 70's....spy vs spy...double agents...and a trip around Europe. But alas, it all fell flat. Character development was lacking, action scenes were dull. Who was I supposed to be rooting for? Did anyone win?
Richard Nessfield
It's a spy thriller written by Len Deighton. Normally that would make for a great read (at least for me). But for some reason this work never really clicked, and I can't really give it a high rating. Having said that it did pick up a little towards the end. For Deighton completionists, this would be a good read.
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.
Apr 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Fredrick Danysh
Jul 04, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First time I picked up a Len Deighton in over 20 years. It feels a bit dated in 2015 but nether the less entertaining. Written in and about a previous age. English in every way with private school spies, ageing Nazi baddies and Hollywood players even thrown in. He sure can spin a yarn.
Apr 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed the spy caper
Steven Kent
I couldn't put this book down.
Jul 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fun, fun, fun!
Apr 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Couldn't put it down after I started it!
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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
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