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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

Overall rating

4.1 out of 5
5 Stars
15 reviews have 5 stars
4 Stars
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3 Stars
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  • One of Lawton’s best

    Cracking yarn. A journey through the post war col war period with a spook hero much more convincing than 007.

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  • Stands with the best

    cracking read -looking forward to my next John Lawton

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  • The Schiebers

    2.5 Stars On the whole I really struggled with this book and I wasn't expecting that at all. I've read quite a few of the Frederick Troy novels and there is some world overlap with Joe Wilderness but it just didn't draw me in at all. I was constantly aware that I was reading a book rather than being whisked away to the fictional world within it's pages and that is never a good thing. Objectively, it is a rather old-fashioned tale of derring-do and the blurring of the lines necessary to function effectively when working in the field. The tale itself is unrelentingly British and it managed to feel fresh but yet somehow dated (and by dated I mean 1950s spy tale). Very strange amalgamation of scenarios, characters and even writing styles that ultimately kept this reader at arms length. It doesn't help that Joe Wilderness is not the world's most likeable character. Yes, he has the sort of compartmentalised personality that makes him ideal for the work he does but it did mean that I never felt I could trust him or even like him very much. I found myself constantly second guessing why Joe did something and ultimately decided that I just didn't like him - his wife seemed to though. Maybe the problem is that this is the third(?) Wilderness novel and maybe you have to read the others to truly appreciate the character (I haven't). There is a lot of action in the book and it starts in the latter years of the Second World War in what was to become East Germany and basically sets up the relationship between Joe, Kostya, Nell and Erno. It also explains the very lucrative Black Market scams that Joe, Ernie and Frank were running but somehow it all felt like Private Walker in Dad's Army (in actual fact, that is exactly how my mind's eye depicted Wilderness, particularly in his Walter disguise). The story wanders about until we finally get to the point which is the Prague Spring. This sees everyone gathered in Prague just as the Russians drive their tanks in to take over and, if I'm being entirely honest by the time we got there I was ready to drive a tank over the whole thing to make it go away. The real highlight was Troy getting seconded to be British Ambassador in Prague and his wife forcing him to take it as she wanted the title. Even better is Alice's escapade with the silver tray. The rest of it just left me cold. Not Mr Lawton's finest and I was heartily relieved to finish the book. THIS IS AN HONEST AND UNBIASED REVIEW OF A FREE COPY OF THE BOOK RECEIVED VIA READERS FIRST.

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  • Heiser

    Less style and more plot than the authors earlier books. A good read that did not go stale.

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  • Imensely wonderful 5

    Great detail loved it. Vvvvvvvvv vvv vvvvvvvv vvvvv vvvvvvv good good 5star

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