Duns, Jeremy - 'Song of Treason'
It is 1969 and MI6 double agent Paul Dark is giving a eulogy for Sir Colin Templeton at St Paul's Cathedral. Templeton had been chief of MI6 and has been killed by Dark. When Dark falters as his memories converge on him, acting Chief John Farraday comes to the lectern to intervene. A shot rings out and Farraday is killed, but was the bullet meant for Dark?
Dark gives chase and learns that the gunman is Italian and possibly belongs to a terror organization called Arte come Terrore. After a meeting with the new section chief, MI5 and the Home Secretary, Dark is sent to Italy to find out why there has been two killings. Once there, accompanied by a bodyguard, he meets again the local section head Charles Severn, who was at public school with Dark, and Severn's sultry wife Sarah who is the radio officer. They have arranged a meeting with the head of Italian military intelligence who will brief him about Arte come Terrore. Dark soon feels abandoned by his Russian masters and out of his depth in Italy, not knowing whom to trust if he indeed can trust anyone!
This is the second book in a trilogy featuring Paul Dark. It's not imperative to have read the first book but it would help, although a good deal of what happened is eventually made clear: what brought him into the Service and why he became a traitor. I had read two of the Euro Crime reviews about FREE AGENT so that helped. It's certainly a fast moving book which with all its action would make a good film. Dark is very much in the James Bond mould except he is a double agent.
At the end of the book there is a chapter from the final book which leaves you wanting to find out the final resolution. SONG OF TREASON is well written and researched, combining fact with fiction and uses Prime Minister Harold Wilson's paranoia to good effect - he apparently appeared in the first book and gets mentioned in this.NB. SONG OF TREASON was first published as FREE COUNTRY.
Read another review of SONG OF TREASON (APA FREE COUNTRY).
Geoff Jones, England