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The Old Enemy Hardcover – June 8, 2021
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“A sequel to last year’s ripped-from-the-headlines Firefly…This frighteningly realistic political thriller will draw readers comfortable with the darker side of the genre.”―Booklist, on White Hot Silence
“[An] intricate tale of international financial skullduggery…Porter handles every aspect of the complicated plot, including the labyrinthine financial and political developments and the romantic triangle involving Anastasia, Denis, and Paul, with keen intelligence and compassion. Thriller readers looking for plenty of action, excellent writing, and credible, convincing characters will be rewarded.”―Publishers Weekly, on White Hot Silence
“Henry Porter is one of our most accomplished thriller writers. As a Fleet Street veteran with an eye for news, he mixes current affairs with precisely engineered storytelling and complex, rounded characters. Firefly, his previous novel, set in the refugee crisis, was highly praised and set a high bar. White Hot Silence meets it…The climax of the book, on the bridge at Narva, the border between Russia and Estonia is nail-biting, with a poignant, Casablanca-style twist at the end. Anastasia is no passive victim, but also drives the story forward. Thriller writing at its best.”―Financial Times, on White Hot Silence
“Compelling… The appeal and force of White Hot Silence springs from its convincing depiction of settings and characters, its palpable tension, and the enduring bond between Samson and Anastasia.”―Wall Street Journal, on White Hot Silence
“White Hot Silence by Henry Porter reunites the characters from his excellent comeback novel Firefly in another mad chase across Europe.”―Sunday Times (UK), on White Hot Silence
“This second in a series (Firefly is the first) is a top-notch thriller peopled with engaging characters and realistic action. I’m hooked now.”―Deadly Pleasures, on
“Nine out of ten journalists who write thrillers on the side should stick to their day job, but among the few who do it superbly is Henry Porter…Porter, who for many years served as the London editor of Vanity Fair, is a whiz at both character and plot, and White Hot Silence can enthrall even those who have not yet read its predecessor.”―Air Mail, on White Hot Silence
“[Porter’s] best book yet…Firefly is its own magnificent hybrid: partly a young adult adventure in the tradition of Huckleberry Finn and Harry Potter; partly a le Carré-esque study of an outsider spy ambivalent about the messy business of espionage; and partly fictionalised journalism, and an impressive rendition of the mass flight from the Middle East that was clearly heavily researched and observed on the ground…it’s possible to imagine it challenging for the Orwell prize for political writing, such is the power of its depiction of the migrant exodus. Full of poignant scenes and mesmeric action sequences, it may be the first novel to do justice to the phenomenon’s epic scale.” –Times (UK), on Firefly
"With its vivid portrait of the flood of refugees moving west from Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey, the book could not be more timely, and Porter’s sympathy for the dispossessed is as cogent here as his skill at sustaining narrative tension."―Guardian, on Firefly
“A welcome return . . . Firefly seems ripped from the headlines and is both timely and terrific.”―Mick Herron, on Firefly
“Firefly proves once again that Porter is both his own man and the proud carrier of the flag first unfurled by John le Carré more than fifty years ago. British espionage fiction is the best in the world, and Porter is part of the reason why.” ―Lee Child, on Firefly
“Firefly accomplishes what too few novels today even try to do: this engrossing chase story of terrorism, spies and refugees takes the reader through the realities of our current war-torn world’s innocents even as the novel entertains. This is an important thriller about the real world we all must survive.” ―James Grady, on Firefly
About the Author
- Publisher : Atlantic Monthly Press (June 8, 2021)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 368 pages
- ISBN-10 : 080215865X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0802158659
- Item Weight : 1.35 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.3 x 1.5 x 9.2 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #202,386 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Harland had spotted someone in Berlin that he recognized as a Stasi agent who operated before the fall of the Berlin Wall. Mila Daus dealt in information and she has continued building a web of agents as she expanded her business. Through blackmail and deception, she recruited important figures in Britain and America and passed their information on to Russia. Hisami’s project has been gathering evidence against her but now he lies in a coma as a result of the attack. All of the evidence that he accumulated is on a computer that only he has the codes to open. With assassins on his trail and his friends in danger, Sansom must work with Anastasia to expose Daus.
Henry Porter has not only written an engrossing spy novel, but also one that explores the use of technology to influence politics and economies. The story builds as Sansom discovers the extent of Hisami’s project and culminates in a tense showdown in the halls of Congress. It is a spy novel and a political story that will keep you eagerly turning pages to the end. I would like to thank NetGalley and Grove Atlantic for providing this book for my review.
As I did with "Firefly", I find the characters here to be fully realized, likable people, whose choices are rational, even if we don't agree with them. The story is believable as a spy novel. The pace is not outlandish.
I think that I might be able to say that I like these books as much as any spy novels I have read in years. I recommend them to you.
I received a digital review copy of "The Old Enemy" by Henry Porter from Grove Atlantic through NetGalley.com.
I enjoyed The Old Enemy, the third in the series, as fully as Firefly. I hated to put the book down for any reason. The characters from Firefly have evolved, although Paul Samson, a former spy, is still possessed of his level head, cool instincts, and disdain for official fiat; and Naji, a Syrian refugee, is still endearing and off-the-scale brilliant.
Two things set this book apart for me: Porter's point that the fiercest weaponry of 21st-Century warfare is data mined and brokered from social media; and his intergenerational cadre of investigators, including seasoned retirees facing death and youth with little experience but vast digital skills.
According to Wikipedia, this so-far-a-trilogy is a planned quartet, and I will be thrilled when the next installment appears. Thanks to NetGalley and Grove Atlantic for an advance readers copy.