Friends and Traitors: Book summary and reviews of Friends and Traitors by John Lawton

Friends and Traitors

An Inspector Troy Novel

by John Lawton

Friends and Traitors by John Lawton
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  • Published in USA  Oct 2017
    384 pages
    Genre: Thrillers

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Book Summary

Friends and Traitors is the eighth novel in the Inspector Troy series - which can be read in any order - a story of betrayal, espionage, and the dangers of love.

London, 1958. Chief Superintendent Frederick Troy of Scotland Yard, newly promoted after good service during Nikita Khrushchev's visit to Britain, is not looking forward to a European trip with his older brother, Rod. Rod has decided to take his entire family on "the Grand Tour" for his fifty-first birthday: a whirlwind of restaurants, galleries, and concert halls from Paris to Florence to Vienna to Amsterdam.

But Frederick Troy only gets as far as Vienna. It is there that he crosses paths with an old acquaintance, a man who always seems to be followed by trouble: British spy turned Soviet agent Guy Burgess. Suffice it to say that Troy is more than surprised when Burgess, who has escaped from the bosom of Moscow for a quick visit to Vienna, tells him something extraordinary: "I want to come home." Troy knows this news will cause a ruckus in London - but even Troy doesn't expect an MI5 man to be gunned down as a result, and Troy himself suspected of doing the deed.

As he fights to prove his innocence, Troy is haunted by more than just Burgess's past liaisons - there is a scandal that goes up to the highest ranks of Westminster, affecting spooks and politicians alike. And the stakes become all the higher for Troy when he reencounters a woman he first met in the Ritz hotel during a blackout? - falling in love is a handicap when playing the game of spies.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. A beguiling interpretation of [Guy] Burgess' life both before and after his defection in 1951 ... With the action jumping back and forth between the late 1950s and the war years, Lawton traces Burgess' flamboyant life... [and] manages to generate considerable suspense in the setup, even though we know Burgess won't be coming in from the cold." - Booklist

"Starred Review. Lawton's portrayal of Burgess as far less dangerous than in most accounts adds to the interest of this smart, fascinating historical thriller." - Publishers Weekly

"Burgess makes a delicious antagonist in this eighth installment in the franchise (A Lily of the Field, 2010, etc.). Lawton, who writes with rueful acumen, puts a human face on the moral and political complexities of the Cold War." - Kirkus

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Author Information

John Lawton Author Biography

John Lawton is a producer/director in television who has spent much of his time interpreting the USA to the English, and occasionally vice versa. He has worked with Gore Vidal, Neil Simon, Scott Turow, Noam Chomsky, Fay Weldon, Harold Pinter and Kathy Acker. He thinks he may well be the only TV director ever to be named in a Parliamentary Bill in the British House of Lords as an offender against taste and balance – he has also been denounced from the pulpit in Mississippi as a `Communist', but thinks that less remarkable.

He spent most of the 90s in New York – among other things attending the writers' sessions at The Actors' Studio under Norman Mailer – and has visited or worked in more than half the 50 states – since 2000 he has lived in the ...

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