Length: 450 pages
About: Final assignment for old female spy
Style: 1st and 3rd person
Where: England, France, Belgium, US & Canada
When: 1939 & 1976
It is 1939. Eva Delectorskaya is a beautiful 28-year-old Russian émigré living in Paris. As war breaks out she is recruited for the British Secret Service…she becomes the perfect spy…Since the
war, Eva has carefully rebuilt her life as a typically Englsih wife and mother. But once a spy, always a spy. Now she must complete one final assignment, and this time Eva can’t do it alone: she
needs her daughter’s help.
When I was a child and was being fractious and contrary and generally behaving badly, my mother used to rebuke me by saying: ‘One day someone will come and kill me and then you’ll be sorry’….
Boyd creates a wonderful appearance of candour in a narrative that is actually packed with twists and double meanings. Eva writes her own account of her career as a spy many years later and gives
it to her daughter, Ruth, in a succession of buff folders.
For full review click here
The Guardian, Helen Dunmore , 16th September 2006
Not so good
Instead of being interestingly established as a 1970s counterpart to her courageous mother, and granted a story of equal dramatic weight, she and her promising material become nothing more than
padding for an oddly unsatisfactory denouement. It cannot have been cheap for Bloomsbury to lure Boyd away from Penguin; they could surely have afforded an editor with sufficient courage to tell him
that the acquisition needed another draft.
Click here for full review
The Independent, Patrick Gale, 1st September 2006
About the author
Born 7th March 1952
in Accra, Ghana, and spent his early life in Ghana and Nigeria. He was educated at Gordonstoun school; and then the University of Nice, France, the University of Glasgow, and finally Jesus
College, Oxford. Between 1980 and 1983 he was a lecturer in English at St Hilda's College, Oxford, and it was while he was there that his first novel, A Good Man in Africa (1981), was published.
He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2005. In August 2014, Boyd was one of 200 public figures who were signatories to a letter to The Guardian opposing Scottish
independence in the run-up to September's referendum on that issue.