Picks and Pans Review: There Are No Spies

updated 01/05/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/05/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

by Bill Granger

This is No. 7 in a series of novels about a spy called the November Man or Devereaux, and the yarns just get better and better. The hero has fallen in love with a newswoman and has resigned from the business. The lovers are living in Switzerland. Devereaux has taken care of his archenemy with a cute plot. Since the KGB wanted Devereaux dead they sent their deadliest assassin, a beautiful killer—code-named Alexa—but Devereaux created a case of mistaken identity so that his enemy became the target instead. Meanwhile, Devereaux's old Washington boss, Hanley, apparently goes bonkers, and he calls Switzerland to babble at Devereaux. Hanley's phone call makes all sorts of unsavory types aware that Devereaux is really not dead as announced, and they go into pursuit. As always in this series, there is plenty of suspense, but what sets Granger's novels apart from other spy thrillers is a splendidly melancholy atmosphere. When his grandniece learns Hanley has been put away because in his illness he might reveal secrets, she says, "But that's not right. I mean, I'm not being naive. But what's the point of doing things wrong for all the right reasons?" It's a question that in world politics and power playing might be asked more often. (Warner Books, $16.95)

From Our Partners