The Private Sector by Joseph Hone

The Private Sector by Joseph Hone

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To find an old friend, a past-his-prime spy steps into a war zone

When Henry Edwards recruited him to work as an intelligence officer, Peter Marlow was young enough that espionage seemed romantic. They were in Cairo during the Suez Crisis, two young spies haunting dinner parties and back alleys in search of morsels of information that were never as important as they seemed. A decade later, espionage has lost its sheen, and Henry confesses to Peter that he’s considering resignation. A few days later, he’s gone.

Is Henry dead, or is he planning to defect? Either way, the service wants him buried. Peter is sent to Cairo in search of his old friend. But as war looms over Israel and the Arab states, and President Nasser’s life comes under threat, Peter’s task becomes more challenging than he would like. Espionage is a young man’s game, and more than ever before, he feels close to the grave.


“Espionage action of the Deighton or le Carré variety.” —The New York Times

“[Hone’s] tone is nearly perfect—quiet, morbidly ironic, beautifully controlled and sustained, moodily introspective, occasionally humorous and more often bitter, with a persistent undertone of unspeakable sadness and irrecoverable loss.” —The Washington Post

“Mr. Hone writes Len Deighton into the ground . . . goes roaring confidently up to the front line.” —New Statesman

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