In Secret Service: A Novel (Silver)

by Mitch Silver

I really wanted to like this book. Silver had a great idea: write a thriller set around the idea of a previously-undiscovered Ian Fleming manuscript. The manuscript turns out to reveal the existence of a Nazi traitor in the British royal family, and it becomes the property of an American professor whose father was Fleming’s friend during World War II. As a literary device, this framing works well. Unfortunately, neither of the stories is particularly compelling. The professor is neither heroine nor anti-heroine, and her encounters with the people who are trying to reclaim and conceal the manuscript are unconvincing. The story told in the Fleming manuscript itself is slow-moving and turgid, full of anecdotes that will probably enthrall people with a good background knowledge of the British royals but which lack interest for the rest of us. A good first effort, but not particularly recommended.

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