The Old Enemy by Henry Porter [8/10]

The spy thriller genre markets itself well, with the catch being that some of my recent reading in this field has marked itself as competent but over-complex, a tad weak on characterization and purpose. Prolific thriller author Henry Porter, with the third of his Paul Samson series, “The Old Enemy,” honors the genre’s promise of espionage skullduggery but renders his two core characters as real humans and carefully stage manages a complicated tapestry of twists rooted in WWII-evil. In other words, The Old Enemy satisfies as it intrigues and thrills. Paul Samson, an ex-MI6 agent now freelance, and his old flame Anastasia are gathered up into a storm when an old spy is assassinated and Anastasia’s husband is poisoned while appearing before the US Congress. Whizzing around the espionage globe, the author choreographs a seemingly realistic conspiracy plot replete with Jason Bourne thrills. The dialogue is dab, the settings deftly drawn, and the climax more than satisfies. The Old Enemy: one of the classy spy releases of 2021.

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