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Mexico Set (Bernard Samson #2)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  6,363 Ratings  ·  112 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
Mass Market Paperback, 408 pages
Published December 12th 1985 by Ballantine Books (first published 1984)
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Description: 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 dangerously enmeshed in an intricate web of suspicion and hatred. Yet how can he fight when he doesn't know where to f
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!
Apr 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, thriller
Samson continues his dogged game of cloak and daggers. While one is never sure if the Oxbridge contingent or the KGB are the real foe, for world weary cynical retro cool this spy series cannot be beat.
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?
Jul 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spy, fiction
This is the second of the Bernard Samson novels by Len Deighton (Berlin Game, Mexico Set, and London Match). It usually takes a little while for a Len Deighton novel to get going, but once it does, it roars like a freight train until the very last page. The action moves from Mexico to London to Berlin and back to Mexico.

Bernard Samson is under suspicion because his wife Fiona, a spy like her husband, defected to the Soviets, leaving the London Central people suspicious of his own intentions. It
Jul 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 22, 2014 rated it really liked it

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
DeAnna Knippling
Sep 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Office politics with secrets and guns. There's something irresistibly catchy about such a low-key approach to spy fiction. It definitely feels grounded. I wasn't sure where this book could possibly go after the twists in the previous book, but it all worked out. A solid read, as long as you're not expecting a thriller.
Jun 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Not my favorite kind of book, but I still liked it enough to stay with it.
Simon Mcleish
Feb 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
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)
Sep 27, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
Rupert Fenton
Jul 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Anyone with a taste in spy thrillers should read this trilogy. Bernard Samson is one of the great literary spy's tough, clever, Loyal, witty and likeable. Len Deighton does a great job of mixing friendships, office politics, a defector wife and a bit of spying into this carefully planed thriller.

The book is confident enough to take its time, to worry about Bernard's kids and sister in law, to let the action take place off the page with Werners visit to Berlin - this is probably a by product of
John Defrog
Jul 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 04, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Dec 11, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
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
Patrick Boyd Palczewski
The sequel bears the first

As you read this and experience the misadventures of Mr. Samson, you almost feel sorry as he blunders through a tightening noose by treacherous friends, incompetent colleagues and devious enemies, you wonder if he will survive. As he shows his brilliant mind and common-sense, you realize there's more than meets the eye. A great series for a great character.
Chris Gager
May 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.
Zoe Carney
I really enjoyed the first of this trilogy, so was looking forward to getting into the second instalment. Sadly, it didn't live up to expectations. The writing is still engaging, the characters still interesting, but the plot this time was laboured and slow to get going. Not enough to put me off the series, but a bit of a disappointment nonetheless.
Sep 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
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!
Jun 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Even better than the first one in the series.
Andrew Mcdonald
Jan 18, 2016 rated it liked it
Probably the best of the Sampson books.
„Zamierzam złożyć oficjalny protest przeciwko temu aktowi nietaktownego wtrącania się. Zwróciłem się do osobistego asystenta D-G mówiąc - Czy zanotował to pan, panie Morgan? Sprzeciwiam się ingerowaniu w realizację mojego zadania.
Morgan był białolicym Walijczykiem, którego jedynymi kwalifikacjami do zatrudnienia w Departamencie były honorowe stopnie z biologii i wujek pracujący w Biurze Spraw Zagranicznych. Spojrzał na mnie tak, jak gdybym był owadem pływającym w jego drinku. Wyraz jego twarzy
Steve In Ludlow
Jan 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read until the small hours to complete this book. It is light on spy craft detail, throws around some underdeveloped ideas in terms of plot and stretches plausibility but keeps you turning the page. I shouldn't compare this to Le Carre (like I did Berlin Game) but I can't help it. Perhaps a little more detail in terms of teamwork and method would place Samson and his increasing challenges in a world in which you can believe. As it is, he floats around a number of well drawn but equally detache ...more
Robert A Chalmers
Mar 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is one part of a trilogy. Berlin Game, Mexico Set, London Match. I've carried one of these on nearly every flight I've taken long haul. Excellent reads all three. Highly recommend them. The lead character stands out, and his relationship with his counterpart, a want-to-be-spy is carried right through the trilogy. You have to wait until the very end to see how it all works out sorry.
If you like Cold War British Spy Thrillers, you are going to have to love this set.
Jonathan Wilson
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Classic spy stuff

This story is a fascinating combination of twists within twists that keeps you suspecting everyone and guessing what may happen throughout. Personally I struggle with the long chapter structure and found the book long but it was worth it.
A very well crafted novel of political intrigue. Interesting characters, some fine humor and plenty of twists and turns. Typical of most spy thrillers by the British, the focus here is on intellectual matters rather than violence.
Matt T
Aug 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another winner from Len Deighton!
Russell Berg
Jan 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Mix Charles Dickens and Graham Greene in cold war Berlin and you have Len Deighton. Wonderful book filled with delicious moments.
Christian, Kelanth, Scala
Mexico City, in originale "Mexico Set", è un romanzo di spionaggio del 1984, dell'autore inglese Len Deighton. 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 occhiali e l'impermeabile. E' Harry Palmer, l'ag ...more
Jose Vera
Sep 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
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Goodreads Librari...: Alternate book cover 3 8 Aug 08, 2014 05:40AM  
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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

Other books in the series

Bernard Samson (9 books)
  • Berlin Game (Bernard Samson, #1)
  • London Match (Bernard Samson, #3)
  • Spy Hook (Bernard Samson, #4)
  • Spy Line (Bernard Samson, #5)
  • Spy Sinker (Bernard Samson, #6)
  • Faith (Bernard Samson, #7)
  • Hope (Bernard Samson, #8)
  • Charity (Bernard Samson, #9)

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“I never really trust drinking water anywhere but Scotland; and I’ve never been to Scotland. I” 3 likes
“Poor fellow, he needed handmade shoes because of his ‘awkward feet’ and Savile Row suits because he wasn’t lucky enough to have the figure for ready-made ones. Cheap wine played havoc with his stomach so he drank expensive ones, and because he couldn’t fit into economy-size airline seats he was forced to go everywhere first class.” 0 likes
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