Zare's Reviews > Free Agent

Free Agent by Jeremy Duns
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Paul Dark is senior intelligence officer in UK's secret service. When called by his Chief in order to check reports on possible Russian spy willing to cross over to the West, Dark panics and starts the events that will take him from London and England to war-torn Ethiopia and Biafra where he will have to find his way out of troubles without any support.

I wont go into details because of spoilers but would like to say a few things in regard to the Paul Dark.

I have to admit I was a little bit put-off by some of the reviews but after reading the book I think most people did not enjoy the book because Paul Dark is not likeable in any way.

But how can he be even remotely likeable? While he did find himself in WW2 cloak-and-dagger game he was obviously not true material for it. He has conscience and he did not like what he had to do - but he did it for one obvious reason. Because it saved his hide. And later he became a professional bureaucrat in secret service, in world where fish-eat-fish and nobody has any remorse or guilt for walking over bodies to the higher position. And it is here he makes a decision to play a dangerous game of double agent - and starts working as one for more than two decades. I have to admit this choice of story protagonist was a very brave decision by the author and it worked for me.

So while one can dismiss Dark as man without morals, take a look at his superiors at the very end - fishing for confession from Dark (because nothing is ever said clearly and doubt and power-plays are ever present) but guilty of more dark and loathsome actions than Paul ever undertook. And these are people who are supposed to be a pillars of justice in the story.

And his handlers are also of the same "special stock" - all double agents are just pawns in the game and have about the same value. Only they do not know it.

In game of second-guessing everyone, not being able to trust anyone and living on the edge of knife every day there are no good people, just unscrupulous and opportunistic people ready to do whatever it takes to achieve their goals.

In terms of pace book starts with the blast, then first third of the book gets slow only to speed up to the very interesting finale.

Highly recommended to all fans of thrillers and spy fiction.

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Reading Progress

June 29, 2019 – Started Reading
July 7, 2019 – Finished Reading
July 8, 2019 – Shelved
July 8, 2019 – Shelved as: adventure
July 8, 2019 – Shelved as: action
July 8, 2019 – Shelved as: africa-wars
July 8, 2019 – Shelved as: criminal
July 8, 2019 – Shelved as: crime
July 8, 2019 – Shelved as: current-politics
July 8, 2019 – Shelved as: detective
July 8, 2019 – Shelved as: diplomacy
July 8, 2019 – Shelved as: intelligence
July 8, 2019 – Shelved as: spies
July 8, 2019 – Shelved as: thrillers
July 8, 2019 – Shelved as: thriller
July 8, 2019 – Shelved as: paul-dark

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