Debut for a Spy

by Harry Currie,
ISBN: 0968000908

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First Novels - First Thrills, First Kills
by Eva Tihanyi

Harry Currie's Debut for a Spy (Rivercrest, 341 pages, $29.95 cloth), although in many ways a conventional Cold War era spy novel, is thoroughly researched, well-written, and entertaining. It has all the expected ingredients: gorgeous women, state-of-the-art technology (in this case the British Harrier Jump Jet), witty repartee, and a handsome hero with charm, strength, intelligence, and courage. But David Baird is more than the sum of his stereotypes, and this is what makes what is, in some ways, a rather implausible plot come to life. Baird is an eminently likeable person-a spy with a sensitive side.

The story unfolds in 1962 at the height of the Cold War. Baird, a former Canadian military bandsman, now a professional singer living in England, is recruited by British intelligence to keep his eyes and ears open while performing at the Russian embassy. Little does he know how much danger he's about to encounter. The Soviet cultural attaché to Britain, a high-ranking KGB agent, is plotting to steal information about the Harrier, a prototype "vertical lift-off" plane. To make matters more interesting both in and out of bed, Baird falls in love with the attaché's beautiful assistant, and before he knows it, he's deeply involved in major espionage.

There's so much action and amusing dialogue that it's almost like "reading a movie." In fact, it would come as no surprise if some day this book were made into one.


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