Book - 1988
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Miles is a spy. He wants, just for once, not to botch a case. Given one last chance for redemption, he is sent to Belfast, which quickly becomes a fight of terror, murder and shocking discoveries. But can he survive in a world of violent action?

Blackwell North Amer
Bombs are exploding in the streets of London, but life seems to have planted more subtle booby-traps for Miles Flint. Miles is a spy. His job is to watch and to listen, then to report back to his superiors, nothing more. The job, offering glimpses into the most private lives of his victims, appeals to Miles. He doesn't lust after promotion, and he doesn't want action. He wants, just for once, not to botch a case. Having lost one suspect - with horrific consequences - Miles becomes too involved with another, a young Irishwoman. His marriage seems ready to crumble to dust. So does his home. He is being pursued by 'The Hell-Raiser of Fleet Street', reporter Jim Stevens, who also has his sights set on MP Harry Sizewell.
Meanwhile, Miles, pursuing dreams of beetles and moles, is given one last chance of redemption - a trip to Belfast, which quickly becomes a flight of terror, murder and shocking discoveries. But can the voyeur survive in a world of violent action?

Publisher: London : Orion, c1988
ISBN: 9780752860343
Characteristics: xvii, 265 p. ; 23 cm


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" They did not rush the door, not until they were one step away from it. Six knocked once, and opened the door with split-second force. One was right behind him, gun trained, and the two RUC men stepped in afterward, leaving Miles to walk through the door last, last and unarmed, as though he were in charge." " She picked up her briefcase and a large hardback book from the backseat. The book was about literary Paris in the 1920s. What she remembered about Paris personally were the appalling toilets in some of the buildings and the outrageously priced café au lait of Montparnasse. She had not caught even a whisper of existentialism there, though she had found plenty of evidence of a dog-eat-dog philosophy."

Oct 08, 2017

Major complaint on this one: many chapters seem to begin making you guess which character is being followed. Irritating quirk that I don't remember from other Rankin books that I've read.

rb3221 May 23, 2016

Miles Flint is a watchman for MI5. He suspects foul play in a failed assignment by his colleagues and assigns himself to solve this mystery of an assassinated Israeli in spite of his superiors.
The first half of the novel is rather slow but it does set the scene as to what will eventually happen. There is an interesting and surprising ending as Flint comes into an uneasy alliance with an IRA terrorist.
It is an early work by Rankin and I feel the Rebus novels are much more interesting.

Dec 18, 2011

Rankin definitely has a very peculiar style of writing but so far (this is the second book of his I read), I think his plots lack punch and entertainment

Apr 19, 2011

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