Free Agent

by Jeremy Duns

Simon & Schuster R199,95

As Eric von Lustbader writes on the cover, Free Agent's first chapter is electrifying. True, but with it comes a terrible sense of disappointment as we swiftly find ourselves in the swamps of moral equivalence.

This is a period piece, a spy novel of the Great Game between the West and the Soviets, with its roots in the fading days of World War 2, and taking us to the hellish complexities of the now almost forgotten Nigerian/Biafran civil war.

Demoralising witchhunts for "moles" within the intelligence services sap at the energies of even the most committed. MI6 tears itself apart. Honey traps seem on the surface simple operations to turn agents, but with them come personal conflicts.

Divided, shifting loyalties abound. Questions from the past remain unanswered. First in a trilogy. - James Mitchell