Pete WillowsAugust 26, 2011Word count: about 300.
Another Man’s Spy
The Wayward Spy
. Roger Croft. 2010. Cassio Books International. ISBN-10: 1450590209. 394 pps. $14.95 US/$15.70 CAN.Roger Croft starts his espionage novel in 1992 England. The main character, MichaelVaux is attempting to buy a bungalow on the same suburban street on which he grew up— hoping to retire peacefully, spending his golden years looking out at his backyard garden, andwith a pleasant view of an English meadow beyond.Croft writes in a refreshingly methodical pace, which seems to have fallen out of voguein spy novels. He is certainly closer to John Le Carré in style than Elmore Leonard. But it isdifficult to see Richard Burton or Alec Guiness portraying the main character here, as in themovie adaptations of Le Carré’s
The Spy Who Came in From the Cold
Tinker, Tailor,Soldier, Spy
. Our protagonist, Michael Vaux, is not a career intelligence officer. Rather, he’s aretired journalist.Vaux, divorced, independent-minded and seemingly never without a drink in his hand,has done fairly well for himself. And though Vaux may have moments of melancholy, he’sessentially stable, and bent on buying this elusive bungalow, which seems to inch away from himevery time he gets closer. Vaux’s domestic desires are used against him.Britain’s spy service, M16, takes an interest in Vaux and leads him into an assignment—for Queen and country, he’s assured—to re-establish contact with a school friend whom, is an arms