Savkar Altinel

Murder and Mayhem

The Echo Chamber

By

Harvester 152pp £6.50 order from our bookshop

The Murder of the Maharajah

By

Collins 290pp £5.95 order from our bookshop

Russian Hide & Seek

By

Hutchinson 240pp £5.95 order from our bookshop

When John Gardner published his spy-cum-ghost story The Werewolf Trace some years ago David Craig remarked in The New Review that Gardner had obviously realised that the spy story was ‘in need of some help, possibly from the Beyond’. Since then quite a few writers have sought aid from that quarter and spooks temporal have rubbed shoulders with spooks spiritual in a number of places including that poorly acted and miserably photographed TV serial which haunted our screens last summer under the pretentious title of The Omega Factor. Needless to say, what applies to ghosts applies to ESP, telekinesis and parapsychology as well. They, too, have infiltrated the spy story and are now trying to force it to serve their interests meekly like those poor zombies in The Invasion of the Body Snatchers. As somebody who takes his espionage seriously, and prefers it straight, I find this development deplorable and was sincerely distressed to come across two more works which, while purporting to be about the down to earth business of international intrigue, are in fact concerned with the proverbial things that go bump in the night.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • He weeps by the side of the ocean, He weeps on the top of the hill; He purchases pancakes and lotion, And chocolate… ,
    • 'Half-way through The Conquest of Water I felt as if I had been subjected to the literary equivalent of excessive c… ,
    • 'Volume five, then, but still no end in sight. Sandbrook is clearly enjoying himself so much he can’t bear the seri… ,
    • 'By the end of the book something so weighty, stylish and impressive has been built up that one feels far nearer to… ,
    • 'Her ensuing psychotic episode is described so convincingly ... that the reader will wonder if Dobrakovová did not… ,
    • 'The perspectives complement and contest one another, amounting to a glorious, atmospheric set of ventriloquisms.'… ,
    • RT : I reviewed The Testaments for . I will not be taking any questions at this time. ,