Len Deighton was born in 1929 in London. He did his national
service in the RAF, went to the Royal College of Art and designed
many book jackets, including the original UK edition of Jack
Kerouac's On the Road. The enormous success of his first spy novel,
The IPCRESS File (1962), was repeated in a remarkable sequence of
books over the following decades. These varied from historical
fiction (Bomber, perhaps his greatest novel) to dystopian
alternative fiction (SS-GB) and a number of brilliant non-fiction
books on the Second World War (Fighter, Blitzkrieg and Blood, Tears
His spy novels chart the twists and turns of Britain and the Cold War in ways which now give them a unique flavour. They preserve a world in which Europe contains many dictatorships, in which the personal can be ruined by the ideological and where the horrors of the Second World War are buried under only a very thin layer of soil. Deighton's fascination with technology, his sense of humour and his brilliant evocation of time and place make him one of the key British espionage writers, alongside John Buchan, Eric Ambler, Ian Fleming and John Le Carre.
Spy Line is vigorous and sleazy, psychologically complex and
action-packed. It is always exciting.
This is vintage Deighton.
No one can evoke the city of Berlin better than Deighton.
Deighton's outstanding achievement is the nine-volume series chronicling the life and times of Bernard Samson ... Deighton's Samson trilogies are as much about the elusiveness of human interactions as espionage. Spying is not a secret world sealed off from ordinary life but an extension of the world we all live in.