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The Spy Game,
This review is from: The Double Game (Hardcover)
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What is not to love about a book that references the cold war, Berlin before the wall came down, spies,coded books and more! Bill Cage is a journalist turned PR man. Before the fall of the Berlin Wall, in his journalist days, Cage got spook-turned-novelist Edwin Lemaster to admit in an interview that he had once considered spying for the enemy. Lemaster's career as a novelist went downhill from that point, with Cage not faring much better. Denied a visa to enter the country where he had been posted, he was recalled to the U.S., where he eventually left journalism to work in the shadowy realm of PR. He doesn't like his boss, his clients, or himself very much. Did I mention that he had a divorce along the way?
Out of nowhere, Cage is pulled into the spy game. His invitation? A very cryptic one - an envelope that was addressed to him by name, with no address or stamp, had been pushed through his mail slot. He quickly realizes that the stationary is his, and the note in the envelope was typed on his own typewriter. The note is cryptic, and a bit unusual, as it contains oblique references to some of Cage's favorite spy novels. (Cage and his father are both collectors of spy novels - especially first editions.)Lemaster is being referenced, with a strong hint that there is more to him than Cage uncovered in his previous interview - nearly two decades ago!
Cage leaves for Vienna, where his father, a retired Foreign Service officer, lives. Here he will also cross path with Litzi Strauss, a beautiful woman from his past. While in Europe he will receive a series of instructions, always referencing cold war spy novels, with locations where his father had been posted, and where they had both lived. The truth that he is searching for brings more questions than answers. Many of the players are coming out of the woodwork, and everyone has secrets, including Litzi and his father.
His search will take him through Vienna, Prague, and Budapest ... cities that all hold memories for him. He begins to question his father's work, his ties with Lemaster, and whether perhaps his own father had worked for the CIA. Some of his own memories make him wonder if he was used as a pawn when he was a boy, and he questions why Litzi seems to know so much more than she is willing to tell. Who is hiding what, and why are secrets from the cold war era still able to cause problems for those involved in them. This is a world of books,book sellers, and ego's run rampant.
For those of us who love spy novels, this is a piece de resistance - a spy novel within a novel, with references to well known authors of the genre, and the characters they wrote about. (There is an incredible appendix at the end of the book delineating the collectible library of suspense novels belonging to Warfield Cage,broken down by author and book.) It is a true trip down memory lane. Filled with suspense, where truth and fiction are the same, how we choose to see the world is truly tested.