I was due for a letdown after my South Pacific idyll, I know. But Peter May's The Black House was simply too abrupt a transition. Twenty pages in, there has been a depressing attempt at teen sex in a dirty old shed in a deeply conservative town where nothing else happens, a horrifically, um, disturbed corpse, and our apparent hero trying to get his life back together after his child has apparently been killed.
Yeah, I've tossed that the for the relatively bloodless world of a good old British spook, Harry Tate, in Adrian Magson's Red Station, "A Harry Tate Thriller." Now, normally the word thriller would be enough to turn me off before even getting started (see Child 44). And indeed, I had a false start here too, abandoning the already abandoned-by-his-agency Tate for Ben Kella and Sister Conchita. The Solomons totally have it going on over the Essex marshes.
But you know I love love love the British telly series MI5, and I THOUGHT it was connected here, that's why I bought this bloody book in the first place! Known in the UK as Spooks, THAT MI5 team was led by Harry Pearce, who can always be counted on to make the right decision, especially when it means defying his superiors at Whitehall. But you know what? That was Harry Pearce and this is Harry Tate. Now where did I ever get them confused? In my own mind, apparently.
So now I'm stuck in bleak Georgia, with a bunch of disgraced British spooks, and the Russians are coming. Tate seems like a good man though, so I guess I'll stick around and see what happens.