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Porkies Kindle Edition
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As a result we are treated to a believable and compelling plot which reflects the ongoing challenges the UK and the West face. It is particularly good on the ambivalence between the competing elements of HMG, MI6, MI5, and the FCO in dealing with each other and their common problems, as well as the carryover and resolution of some of those tensions through Harry Baxter, the central character's relations with the Israeli, French, American, and Pakistani intelligence agencies and establishments.
Porkies is compelling follow up on Bennett's first volume, Pigs, and provides the details of the finale of the plot developed in it which offsets the frustration that the prelude left with his readers as a bomb ratcheted toward Parliament in a sewer pipe with minutes until detonation! The two tomes together provide a compelling insight into the details and difficulties in dealing with international terrorism in the 21st century in a fast moving, well written, and thoroughly accurate way. Together they deserve to be republished and given greater publicity than they have thus far received.
And for those of us who have come to follow Harry Baxter and his cohorts the way we followed Patrick O'brian and Alexander Kent's 18th century naval stories, they will be happy to hear than a third volume is in process.
The series could be said to be a latter day James Bond endeavor, but Harry Baxter has not yet acquired the flashy veneer that Ian Fleming's character acquired over the years, and Bennett does not try to invest Baxter with Bond's sense of sophistication and superiority. This is better than John Le Carre as Harry Baxter's cynicism is portrayed much more lightly than George Smiley's: The Cold War is over and a very different generation and institutional development is required to deal with the evolving but greater challenges. Perhaps Harry Baxter will become the 21st century James Bond!