December 26th, 2012

andrew potter

Ghost Station by Adam Fitzroy

While I have to admit I have never read a Ian Fleming’s novel (I only saw the movies), I suppose Ghost Station is the perfect English spy novel. The main characters (more than only a couple) are the epitome of the “Englishman” or at least what a foreigner thinks to be a real Englishman. What instead surprised me is that I found it to be quite romantic, in a very prim and proper way (but sometime not so proper…): to a foreign eyes, we have this idea of UK citizens, like “no sex, we are English”, but retired agent John Dashwood, blond and aristocratic Piers Fetherstonhaugh, secret agents Tom Bertham, Rick Wentworth and Harry Tilney seem to not have the same idea, and between a mission and a rescue, are entangling liaisons that nothing have to do with diplomacy.

The novel is not short, but it’s filled with events, and so maybe, the romantic reader will wish to have had more time with these men in a non-professional capacity. The romance between Rick and Harry is sweet and passionate, I can easily see these two retiring in a country mansion breeding dogs and discussing of the old times. On the other hand John is already “retired” but he seems to have a penchant for young blood, and that is not easy to find in the country.

The writing style is good, above all since it well balance the coldness of the ‘70s spy novel (cold war, pun intended), with the intimacy of the relationship between Rick and Harry, able to speak of love without actually saying the word. That was unexpected but very good, I cared for them and I wanted an happily ever after, like in an old fashioned romance novel, because usually James Bond got the most beautiful women, but in the end he is always alone.

This is the third novel I read by Adam Fitzroy, and while the stories and the settings were always different, I very much enjoyed all three of them, and above all I enjoyed the romance in it: maybe these men are not overtly passionate (even if I can see the embers beneath the ashes), but for sure they are able of great love.

http://www.manifoldpress.co.uk/2011/10/ghost-station/

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle

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