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Thursday, 16 October 2014

‘The Falklands Intercept’ by Crispin Black



Published by Gibson Square, 2014.
ISBN: 978-1-908096-38-8

This is a cerebral type of spy novel, full of layers of history.  The interplay of various spy agencies at the heart of governments is beautifully delineated with the usual problems of distinguishing friend and foe especially when friends seem to act like enemies.  Events move through Cambridge, London, Paris, the USA and the Falklands with ease -  Crispin Black uses his own experiences to illuminate the world of espionage centring on London very well.  He graduated from Cambridge, served in the Falklands and Northern Ireland and worked as an intelligence analyst in the Cabinet Office.  This is his first novel.  He uses language precisely and with good images - the American Embassy in Grosvenor Square with its display of Americana in the entrance hall makes a visitor feel he is "half reading a comic book and half walking down the nave and aisles of a medieval cathedral."  The  office in the HQ of Secret Intelligence Service on the banks of the Thames with a panoramic view of the river has glass which deflects light and radio waves and, therefore, has a metallic hue "as if the whole building was wearing rather cheap dark glasses."  The Falklands Government House is compared to "a rather grand boarding house in a windy part of Devon."

The central character is Colonel Jacot who works for Lady Nevinson, the National Security Advisor.  He investigates the untimely death, apparently by a heart attack, of Britain's chief of military intelligence at a Cambridge College.  General Sir Christopher Verney was at the college to give a lecture on Scott's ill fated Antarctic expedition in which he promised revelations.  Jacot has wide experience as an Intelligence operative and as an army officer.  He was in the Falklands conflict in 1982 when his hands were badly burnt forcing him to wear silk gloves as protection.  With some aid and facing a great deal of hindrance Daniel Jacot reaches a theory about events which began with the death at Cambridge.

"The art of human intelligence is to get others to give information away." This observation by Daniel Jacot sums up the work that he does. 
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Reviewer: Jennifer S Palmer.

Crispin Black, a graduate of Cambridge, served in the Falklands and Northern Ireland before becoming an intelligence analyst at the Cabinet Office. He writes for The Times, Guardian, Telegraph and Independent on Sunday. The Falklands Intercept is based on his experiences, and is his first novel. He lives in Donhead St. Mary, Wiltshire, with his wife and two daughters.





Jennifer Palmer Throughout my reading life crime fiction has been a constant interest; I really enjoyed my 15 years as an expatriate in the Far East, the Netherlands & the USA but occasionally the solace of closing my door to the outside world and sitting reading was highly therapeutic. I now lecture to adults on historical topics including Famous Historical Mysteries.


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