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Legacy Hardcover – Bargain Price, April 8, 2003

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, April 8, 2003
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--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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From Booklist

When the cold war ended, everyone thought the spy novel was finished, too. We were wrong, of course, because we failed to notice that what made the genre work was the way it reflected ongoing issues in our own lives. That point is hammered home again in this accomplished espionage tale about an MI6 trainee in the mid-70s who discovers that his now-dead father was a longtime KGB agent. Truth or disinformation? Charles Thoroughgood spends the rest of the novel trying to find out, in the process dancing a dangerous pas de deux with a former college acquaintance now a KGB operative. The real drama, however, comes from Charles making sense of his father's life and, hence, his own. The espionage context gives the soul-searching its frisson, not so much because questions of national honor arise, but because, as Charles' MI6 mentor puts it, the spy world offers "interaction between the individual and bureaucracy, the individual and ideology, the individual and power." How absurd to think any of that could go out of date. Bill Ott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.


"A dense and satisfying thriller….Legacy takes us back to John le Carré and the golden age of spy novels."--The Daily Telegraph (London)

"Alan Judd just may have invented a new sub-genre: the historical spy procedural. . . . Thoroughly engaging."--San Jose Mercury News

"Intense fiction. . . . In Charles Thoroughgood [Judd] has devised a character [who] is altogether as engaging . . . as James Bond." –The Philadelphia Inquirer

From the Trade Paperback edition. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • ISBN-10: 0375414843
  • ASIN: B000HWZ3NU
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,467,776 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Alan A. Elsner VINE VOICE on October 3, 2009
Format: Paperback
We are in John le Carre territory in this Cold War spy story set in 1970s London. Charles Thoroughgood, whose name describes his character, has left the British army and joined the Secret Service as a trainee. By coincidence, a Russian acquaintance from university days shows up as a Soviet diplomat with a weakness for a particular London postitute. Charles is taken out of his training course and told to approach his former classmate. When he does so, the Russian turns the tables on him by revealing that Charles's own father, now deceased, was a long-standing Soviet agent.

There is lots of interesting tradecraft in this novel. The author clearly knows what he's talking about. Also, we meet some quirky British characters in the best tradition of the cast of eccentrics created by le Carre.

Judd differs from le Carre in that he sees no more equivalence between the British and the Soviets. Whereas Le Carre regards his characters as players in a game in which both sides observe the same rules more or less, Judd has no such scruples. He clearly sees the Brits as morally superior and the Soviets as utterly evil.

There are some surprises in this book which are not altogether surprising and the depiction of England circa 1970 seems more like the 1950s to me than the actual England I remember. Judd clearly brings out the upper class nature of the secret service, still the realm of public school boys and a few women from the "right" families and universities. His women are not convincing and the subject of sexual desire is handled as if it were an embarrassing social faux pas.
Still this is an entertaining and interesting book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Alan Judd brought us back to the golden era of the Cold War spy novels. There are no explosions and flashy superheros. Spy business is a dreary, cerebral game. Secret services spy on enemies, on friends and on those who are hard to pin down. Charles Thoroughgood, young, idealistic spy beginner is a richly written character. Complex miasma of his new business soon overwhelms him, but he shows a surprising talent for the game. I am hoping for much more from Mr. Judd. It was a very rewarding experience.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What more could you possibly want. Anything by Judd is
enough reason to buy and enjoy.
His only weakness of a low production rate.
MORE please!!!
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