The Devil’s Bargain by Stella Rimington.
The Devil’s Bargain by Stella Rimington begins in 1988 with Igor, a Russian Agent entering Britain undercover. Igor disappears without a trace and is lost to the Russians after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the KGB.
Special Branch operative Harry Bristow is responsible for letting Igor enter the UK. By accepting a bribe, he has betrayed his own ethics. Bristow becomes overcome with guilt. This eventually destroys his marriage and police career.
Years later, Bristow recognises the Russian, who has changed his name and is now elected a Member of Parliament for Liverpool. The inclusion of this town allows local colour into the novel.
Bristow is blackmailed into working as Igor’s chauffeur. During his time with Ivan, Bristow starts his own private investigation. Although Bristow is one of the characters in the novel, the central character is Manon Tyler, a CIA analyst seconded to London. (It appears it is more or less obligatory for British authors to include the CIA in British spy stories. Presumably, it’s to cater for American readers.)
However, it was an enjoyable thriller I didn’t want to put down.
Unfortunately, the Kindle edition of this novel contains proofing errors. There are missing capital letters for proper names at the start of chapters. I don’t think you can blame the author for this.
Four stars from me ****
Reviewed by Andrew R Williams
Author of the Arcadia’s Children series, Jim Series and Superior and Playing Dirty
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