Spy Line and the Case of the missing Agent Palmer book review

I have a process.

I read a book, I write about it, and then it goes into the queue for publication. My system, while not perfect, is mine. And I never start a new book without first writing about the one I just finished. Since I started the blog, I’ve not skipped a review.

While I read, I also take notes.

And that’s where the case of the missing review gets interesting.

I read Spy Line. I remember reading it, and I loved it. It took me less than a week to finish, if memory serves my right. But when I was scheduling the review of Spy Sinker, the end of the Hook, Line, Sinker Samson trilogy, I went to link all of the previous books.

Line was nowhere to be found.

Ok, I thought, maybe I didn’t publish it. I searched through all of my notes, all of my drafting and editing documents, and it was nowhere to be found. I know I wrote it. I remember finishing the draft and thinking that I needed a title, but that’s the last I remember of it.

Len Deighton Hook, Line, and Sinker

Why does this matter? To me, it matters because not only do I enjoy chronicling and sharing my reading habits with you, but having a complete review of Deighton’s bibliography seemed like a nice by-product of reading all of his stuff.

So what am I to do? I have too much on my plate and ahead of me to read to go back and reread it, just for the sake of a review. In its place, I’ll think about why Samson wouldn’t have wanted me to complete this task of a review on every book? Or perhaps it wasn’t Samson at all, but the unnamed spy Palmer himself?

Here are the most plausible explanations (based on the Samsonverse, obviously, because why else would I conduct this ridiculous thought exercise?

  • The file is lost somewhere on Dicky Cruyer’s desk.
  • Bret Rensselaer has classified them as top secret for an unknown foreign government.
  • Frank Harrington is playing a politick game with me, of which I don’t understand the rules.
  • My notes and the accompanying draft have been pilfered by a rogue agent that took them as evidence to the other side.
  • The notes were destroyed in a mysterious car crash assassination attempt gone awry

I literally don’t know.

What I can remember about the book is that it felt like it had consequences with lasting impacts more than any other novel so far in the series.

There are deaths, defections, and discretions all throughout the Samsonverse, but Line’s implications seem larger. Is it because they are? That’s perhaps something I won’t know until I finish the series, but having finished the Hook-Line-Sinker trilogy, it feels like I’m correct.

During the process of tracking down this missing review, I did read a few pages throughout the book. Not only were they familiar, but I knew what happened. So, if the agent in charge of stealing the review was supposed to wipe my memory, perhaps it wiped out something else?

It’s a great middle to an amazing trilogy. With a few books left to read before I start on the final Samson trilogy, this is something I’ll be savoring for a bit before I return to Bernd with Faith.

Len Deighton Books Shelf


Read the Secret File of technical information and quotes from Spy Line.