Review: Dead Letter Drop – Peter James

dead-letter-drop-peter-james3 of 5 stars

Series:
Max Flynn 1

My version:
Paperback
Fiction Spy, thriller
Pan
1981
Bought

Originally published in 1981, Dead Letter Drop is Peter James’ first ever novel. Now reissued for the first time, it features a brand new introduction by the author.

Max Flynn, undercover agent, has the unenviable job of spying on his own side. When to kill, who to kill, whether to kill. These are all quick-fire decisions that have to be made if he wants to stay alive.

But why does an innocuous airline ticket hold such significance for Flynn? Who has gone to the trouble of making him near witness to their own suicide? And could the agent’s beautiful companion be hiding secrets as a spy? The hazy, murky world of counter-espionage leaves no room for errors of judgement – Flynn knows he’s finished if he makes one false move.

Never really captured me. I never really got to grips with the character and didn’t therefore couldn’t rightly give any more than half a hoot about the story. It struck me, that James really wanted to be Len Deighton, in the ’60’s, but tries too hard, pulls the shot and misses. The ‘witty’ dialogue, the ‘never heard before comparisons,’ the shocking start, they’re all there. But the spark isn’t and there’s the problem. It came, it was there, it went again. I guess the ‘people who know better about this sort of thing’ quoted on the book cover, know better about this sort of thing, than me. They seem to have loved it, I didn’t. Look, it isn’t cheap as chips at The Book Depository for nothing, eh?

There are better spy books, I’m sure of that. There are probably better Peter James books. Maybe one day I’ll come back to this one and give it another chance. Just not any time soon I’m afraid.

You can buy Dead Letter Drop at The Book Depository

Related reviews on Speesh Reads:

Games Traitors Play

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