Sunday, September 29, 2013

Declare, by Tim Powers

Tim Powers weaves a supernatural tale around the real-life facts of the British double agent / defector Kim Philby. (Philby's story was also the inspiration for John le Carré's spy novel Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, which I can also recommend.) I am always impressed by espionage / political intrigue books because of the sheer level of detail & complexity that the author has to keep track of; Declare is even more impressive because so much of it is historical fact. However, I'm not always great at following it myself & frequently have to go back & re-read in order to be sure I really understand what's going on.

The writing is strong and the characters are convincing (particularly Andrew Hale; nothing sells FUBAR like a super-spy scared shitless); in particular, the supernatural parts are done in a kind of "matte finish" that makes them feel eerily believable. In summary, I'd say it reads like Indiana Jones meets 007 meets Tom Clancy.

No comments:

Post a Comment