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Yesterday's Spy: The fast-paced new suspense thriller from the Sunday Times bestselling author of Secret Service

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Note: My thanks to NetGalley and Grove Atlantic for providing me with a free electronic copy of this book for review purposes.

Then Harry gets a call – Sean has gone missing. Yesterday’s Spy springs into action as Harry flies to Iran to find his son. There are people who remember Harry and are hostile to the British presence, the political atmosphere is febrile and the city charged with violence. Thank you to the author, Grove Atlantic and NetGalley, for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.


Tom Bradby's Kate Hnederson series were quite good (well, except the third one, which was disastrous), which is why I wanted to read his standalone new novel, "Yesterday's Spy". A historical spy-thriller occurring mostly in 1953 Iran. A missed opportunity, really, as Bradby's writing is anything but exciting and gripping, as he focuses his attention on all the wrong details, and never really delves into the politics and life in Iran. Everything feels unreal and superficial, including the characters who were flat and underdeveloped. Dialogues between characters also left a lot to be desired. Mr. Bradby’s treatment of Iranian settings and Iran’s society, politics, foreign affairs, and economy in 1953 is first-rate. He skillfully depicts life in Teheran where modern automobiles share the roads with donkeys and camels, spicy aromas drift on the wind from bazaars, and chic western styles of dress and grooming co-exist uneasily with traditional Muslim garb.

Enjoyed this episode of Spybrary? Come and talk Spy books and movies with other spy fans in our private Spybrary listeners facebook group More Links and Resources on Yesterday's Spy and Len Deighton Sinister rumors link clandestine Arab arms dealing with the man who led the old anti-Nazi Guernica network. It's time to re-open the master file on yesterday's spy…' Len Deighton's ‘Yesterdays Spy' is the subject of the latest Brush Pass Review on SpybrarySean Tower is a reporter for The Guardian. He stayed in Iran, rather than returning to university in England, partly as a rebellion against his distant father. His mother Amanda has recently died, widening the rift between father and son. Neither understands the other. However, Tehran is becoming a dangerous place. Thanks to Atlantic Monthly Press/Henry Holt & Co for this ARC in exchange for an honest review. 📚 ❤️ 🥰

In my youth I looked for answers with a terrible urgency. I craved certainty. Then I started telling myself that, in the end, we have to accept there’s a vast amount we just don’t know.” This is the first book by Tom Bradby that I have read. His writing style is polished and easy to read. I will certainly be reading more books by him. The spy thriller is often a runaway train of an adventure where agents need to think on their feet and improvise. This is at odds with the world of espionage where the less charismatic and forgettable players are, the best suited to engage in double dealing and subterfuge, they would be. I read this shortly after reading the highly acclaimed John Le Carre novel "Tinker, Tailor Soldier, Spy" and it took me a while for me to separate this book from that one, particularly the main character Harry Tower who would fit right in the Le Carre novel. I liked this much better than Tinker, Tailor, Solider Spy. Author Tom Bradby’s latest offering ‘Yesterday’s Spy’ is set mainly in 1950’s Tehran and features recently retired SIS agent Harry Towers.On August 19, 1953, Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh was overthrown in a coup d’etat jointly planned by the United States and Great Britain and led on the ground by the CIA. With the support of the country’s leading mullah, Abol-Ghasem Kashani, Americans under the command of Kermit Roosevelt, Jr. restored Mohammad Shah Reza Pahlavi as Iran’s supreme leader. The shah’s brutal, dictatorial regime during the following two decades led directly to the 1979 Iranian Revolution that still echoes in today’s headlines. Now, British journalist Tom Bradby recalls the events of 1953 in Yesterday’s Spy, a fast-paced spy thriller loosely based on the history of the coup. Deep in the South American jungle the MAMista Marxist revolutionaries are fighting a hopeless, protracted war against a dictator – while the CIA see an opportunity. Amid the turmoil, three very different people – a doctor, a young firebrand and an educated revolutionary – find themselves thrown together and trapped at the heart of a battle where the enemy is uncertain, and there can be no winners. Forgotten the title or the author of a book? Our BookSleuth is specially designed for you. Visit BookSleuth Before long, he is on the run - not only from a faceless enemy, but from his own past. Which will catch up with him first? Do you believe in God?’ Julie asked. ‘No. But I’m old enough to recognize that we simply have no idea what lies beyond the boundaries of our knowledge and to take some comfort from that ignorance.”

Though it wasn’t my favourite Tom Bradby thriller because of my disconnect with the characters, it was nevertheless fast paced at times, (particularly towards the end), and I still enjoyed it. Tom Bradby writes good and believable characters but his locations and settings are what marks out his stories.

It’s all very confusing . . . until it isn’t. And you’re unlikely to expect how Bradby resolves it all. I am a big fan of smart espionage, which also makes me a big fan of Tom Bradby. His latest stand-alone outing, “Yesterday's Spy”, provides plenty of action while exposing the moral ambiguities of what we do for king and country. Long-suffering spy Bernard Samson has, against all the odds, enticed a Soviet agent to defect to London – but this proves to be the start of something even bigger. For he learns that there is treachery within his own Service, and no one is free from suspicion. To discover who really controls the game of spies, he must attempt a desperate gamble. Twenty years later. Harry is now a fading star in the SIS firmament. He is called to Downing Street because of his expertise in Iran. Harry has served in Tehran and his son, Sean, is still there. Churchill is about to approve British involvement in Operation Ajax, a plan in conjunction with the Americans to oust Iran’s legitimate and popular nationalist prime minister, Mohammad Mossadegh.

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