Thursday, February 28, 2008

What I'm Reading: 2/28/08

Up to this point I've never read anything by Eric Ambler. Nor have I gotten too much into the espionage/Cold War thriller genre. Some Bond novels, a few short stories in anthologies, not much else.

But now I'm reading Ambler's The Intercom Conspiracy Damn! but this is a good read. The premise is that two mid-level spy guys in Europe are dissatisfied with what they've gotten, and hatch a plan to get more. They'll buy a paper, publish embarassing items that the superpowers don't want known, and collect some real money fro shutting up. To this end, they purchase a right-wing newsletter that sends free copies to every member of Congress. Great plan, but it puts the paper's staff in the middle of some hairy stuff.

That staff basically boils down to boozy Canadian newsman Theo Carter. He may be what really makes the story work. Cranky as he is, he's also worth knowing. In the parts of the book he narrates, you see a man who has to hold a lot back just let loose, and it's exhilirating.

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