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Born in London, Len Deighton served in the RAF before graduating from the Royal College of Art (which recently elected him a Senior Fellow). While in New York City working as a magazine illustrator he began writing his first novel, 'The Ipcress File', which was published in 1962. He is now the author of more than thirty books of fiction and non-fiction. At present living in Europe, he has, over the years, lived with his family in ten different countries from Austria to Portugal.
March 2013 Guest Editor Charles Cumming on The Ipcress File... I love Deighton’s witty, ironic style, particularly in the Harry Palmer books, and wanted to capture some of that atmosphere in the early part of A Foreign Country. The chapter in which the reader first encounters Thomas Kell was heavily influenced by Ipcress, now of course better known as the classic 60s spy thriller starring Michael Caine.
'Deighton's best book ... an absorbingly exciting spy story that is also a fascinating exercise in might-have-been speculation' The New York Times Book Review It is 1941 and Germany has won the war. Britain is occupied, Churchill executed and the King imprisoned in the Tower of London. At Scotland Yard, Detective Inspector Archer tries to do his job and keep his head down. But when a body is found in a Mayfair flat, what at first appears to be a routine murder investigation sends him into a world of espionage, deceit and betrayal. 'Len Deighton is the Flaubert of contemporary thriller writers ... this is much the way things would have turned out if the Germans had won' The Times Literary Supplement
'This is vintage Deighton' Sunday Times 'Spy Line is vigorous and sleazy, psychologically complex and action-packed. And it is always exciting' Daily Mail Bernard Samson is a spy on the run. But in the murky streets of Berlin, he knows where to hide. Wanted for an act of treachery he has not committed, he must not only escape the grasp of London Central, but get to the bottom of a tangled conspiracy that is about to change everything. In the thrilling penultimate instalment of the Hook, Line and Sinker trilogy, Bernard's personal and professional life collide with devastating consequences. A BERNARD SAMSON NOVEL
'Every page of Deighton's work glows with the excitement of discovery ... wonderful' Geoff Dyer, Guardian This unflinching history of the darkest days of the Second World War covers the entire world stage, from the Battle of the Atlantic to Pearl Harbor. Rooted in the personal accounts of the soldiers themselves, Blood, Tears and Folly is a sweeping, moving account of the political machinations, the strategy and tactics, the weapons and the men on both sides who created a world of devastation. 'If he had never written a word of fiction Deighton would still be remembered for his scholarly and merciless history of the Second World War, Blood, Tears and Folly' Peter Millar, The Times
'Deighton has a desire, unobtrusive but inflexible, to see the truth ... Blitzkrieg is full of insights' Financial Times This is the story of the Nazi conquest of western Europe, from Hitler's rise to power and 'lightning-fast war', to his fatal mistake in halting the German advance on Dunkirk in 1940. Drawing on technical mastery and interviews with both Allied and German participants, Blitzkrieg sets out the technical thinking behind the attack and the weapons that made it possible. It is a compelling, detailed account of Europe's darkest hour. 'What Deighton did for the Battle of Britain in Fighter he has done for the land-war here ... A rattlingly good yarn' Guardian
'The most honest attempt yet to tell how the Battle of Britain really was' Andrew Wilson, Observer History is swamped by patriotic myths about the aerial combat fought between the RAF and the Luftwaffe over the summer of 1940. In his gripping history of the Battle of Britain, Len Deighton drew on a decade of research and his own wartime experiences to puncture these myths and point towards a more objective, and even more inspiring, truth. 'Revolutionised thinking about the Battle of Britain in a way that has not been seriously challenged since' The Times
'Spying at its most captivating and intricate' The Times 'Deighton has woven an intricate and satisfying plot, peopled it with convincing characters and even given a new twist to the spy story. But then he is a master of the form' Washington Post Long-suffering spy Bernard Samson has, against all the odds, enticed a Soviet agent to defect to London - but this proves to be the start of something even bigger. For he learns that there is treachery within his own Service, and no one is free from suspicion. To discover who really controls the game of spies, he must attempt a desperate gamble. As the Game, Set and Match trilogy reaches its shattering finale, who will make the winning move? A BERNARD SAMSON NOVEL
'A monumental work ... brilliantly executed' Daily Telegraph 'The pace and tension leave one almost breathless. A frightening yet compelling novel' Sunday Telegraph Peter and Paul, the two sons of German businessman Harald Winter, are bonded together by a childhood trauma. But as they grow up the brothers also grow apart. When the shadow of the Third Reich falls they become divided by war and their differing ideals - only to meet again years later at the Nuremberg trials. An epic prelude to the Bernard Samson Game, Set and Match trilogy, Winter is a rich, tragic portrait of the fortunes of a family, and a nation, over half a century.
'The classic and gripping spy novel of Cold War Berlin' Guardian 1963 Berlin is dark and dangerous. The anonymous hero of The IPCRESS File has been sent to help arrange the defection - in an elaborate mock coffin - of a leading Soviet scientist. But, as he soon discovers, this deception hides an even deadlier truth. One of the first novels written after the construction of the Berlin Wall, Funeral in Berlin revels in the murky, chilling atmosphere of a divided city. 'A ferociously cool fable' The New York Times
'A stone-cold Cold War classic' Toby Litt, Guardian A high-ranking scientist has been kidnapped. A secret British intelligence agency must find out why. But as the quarry is pursued from grimy Soho to the other side of the world, what seemed a straightforward mission turns into something far more sinister. With its sardonic, cool, working-class hero, Len Deighton's sensational debut The IPCRESS File rewrote the spy thriller and became the defining novel of 1960's London. 'Changed the shape of the espionage thriller ... there is an infectious energy about this book which makes it a joy to read' Daily Telegraph
Epic prelude to the classic spy trilogy, GAME, SET and MATCH, that follows the fortunes of a German dynasty during two world wars.Winter takes us into a large and complex family drama, into the lives of two German brothers - both born close upon the turn of the century, both so caught up in the currents of history that their story is one with the story of their country, from the Kaiser's heyday through Hitler's rise and fall. A novel that rings powerfully true, a rich and remarkable portrait of Germany in the first half of the twentieth century.In his portrait of a Berlin family during the turbulent years of the first half of the century, Len Deighton has created a compelling study of the rise of Nazi Germany.With its meticulous research, rich detail and brilliantly drawn cast of characters, Winter is a superbly realized achievement.
The long-awaited reissue of the final part of the classic spy trilogy, HOOK, LINE and SINKER, when the Berlin Wall divided not just a city but a world.Bernard Samson is surrounded by puzzles and none more complex than Fiona, his wife and the mother of his children. But as a mystery, she is by no means alone. Can a man love two women at the same time? Can a man serve two masters?Tessa Kosinski, Bernard's socialite sister-in-law, is not the 'other woman'. She is as faithful to Bernard and Fiona as she is unfaithful to her doting husband. But she is vulnerable, and slowly she is drawn from the bright lights of London to the murkiest and bizarre corners of Berlin.
Four classic spy novels, four unnamed spies - just like Britain's uber-cool sixties spy, 'Harry Palmer' - together in one e-bundle for the first time.When Len Deighton wrote THE IPCRESS FILE, he not only reinvented spy fiction, he created a style icon and literary legend: 'Harry Palmer'. The nameless, working-class spy of the books found fame in three films starring Michael Caine, and the smart-talking, anti-establishment spy was suddenly cool.Hollywood would create a host of similarly super-slick spies, such as Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin in The Man from Uncle. But ' Harry Palmer' remains the best, and this quartet showcases the international exploits of someone who looks, sounds and acts like Harry.AN EXPENSIVE PLACE TO DIE - Into the twilight world of Parisian decadence and hidden motives come the agents of four world powers.SPY STORY - An attempted murder, the defection of a senior KGB official, and an explosive nuclear submarine chase beneath the Arctic Ocean are the sparks that ignite a brutal East-West power play.YESTERDAY'S SPY - They thought that Steve Champion, flamboyant hero and leader of an anti-Nazi intelligence group was gone. Then rumours surface of Champion's sinister Arab connections and weapons-smuggling, forcing his old friend to investigate.TWINKLE, TWINKLE, LITTLE SPY - A Soviet space scientist defector, an English spy and an ex-CIA agent leave a blood-soaked killing trail across three continents, while overhead spy satellites watch all, twinkling like stars.
In February 1941 British Command surrendered to the Nazis. Churchill has been executed, the King is in the Tower and the SS are in Whitehall...For nine months Britain has been occupied - a blitzed, depressed and dingy country. However, it's 'business as usual' at Scotland Yard run by the SS when Detective Inspector Archer is assigned to a routine murder case. Life must go on.But when SS Standartenfuhrer Huth arrives from Berlin with orders from the great Himmler himself to supervise the investigation, the resourceful Archer finds himself caught up in a high level, all action, espionage battle.This is a spy story quite different from any other. Only Deighton, with his flair for historical research and his narrative genius, could have written it.
Long-awaited reissue of the second part of the classic spy trilogy, GAME, SET and MATCH, when the Berlin Wall divided not just a city but a world.A lot of people had plans for Bernard Samson...When they spotted Erich Stinnes in Mexico City, it was obvious that Bernard Samson was the right man to 'enrol' him. With his domestic life a shambles and his career heading towards disaster, Bernard needed to prove his reliability. and he knew Stinnes already - Bernard had been interrogated by him in East Berlin.But Bernard risks being entangled in a lethal web of old loyalties and old betrayals.All he knows for sure is that he has to get Erich Stinnes for London.Who's pulling the strings is another matter...
Long-awaited reissue of the first part of the classic spy trilogy, GAME, SET and MATCH, when the Berlin Wall divided not just a city but a world.East is East and West is West - and they meet in Berlin...He was the best source the Department ever had, but now he desperately wanted to come over the Wall. 'Brahms Four' was certain a high-ranking mole was set to betray him. There was only one Englishman he trusted any more: someone from the old days.So they decided to put Bernard Samson back into the field after five sedentary years of flying a desk.The field is Berlin.The game is as baffling, treacherous and lethal as ever...
The classic spy thriller of lethal computer-age intrigue and a maniac's private cold war, featuring the same anonymous narrator and milieu of The IPCRESS File. The fourth of Deighton's novels to be narrated by the unnamed employee of WOOC(P) is the thrilling story of an anti-communist espionage network owned by a Texan billionaire, General Midwinter, run from a vast computer complex known as the Brain. After having been recruited by Harvey Newbegin, the narrator travels from the bone-freezing winter of Helsinki, Riga and Leningrad, to the stifling heat of Texas, and soon finds himself tangling with enemies on both sides of the Iron Curtain.
The dead hand of a long-defeated Nazi Third Reich reaches out to Portugal, London and Marrakech in Deighton's second novel, featuring the same anonymous narrator and milieu of The IPCRESS File, but finds Dawlish now head of the secret British Intelligence unit, WOOC(P).The Ipcress File was a debut sensation. Here in the second Secret File, Horse under Water, skin-diving, drug trafficking and blackmail all feature in a curious story in which the dead hand of a long-defeated Hitler-Germany reaches out to Portugal, London and Marrakech, and to all the neo-Nazis of today's Europe.The detail is frightening but unfaultable; the story as up to date as ever it was. The un-named hero of The Ipcress File the same: insolent, fallible, capricious - in other words, human. But he must draw on all his abilities, good and bad, when plunged into a story of murder, betrayal and greed every bit as murky as the waters off the coast of Portugal, where the answers lie buried.
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