Old Flames

Old Flames Brilliantly evoking the intrigue of the Cold War and s London John Lawtons thrilling sequel to Black Out takes Inspector Troy deep into the rotten heart of MI the distant days of his childhood

  • Title: Old Flames
  • Author: John Lawton
  • ISBN: 9780142003732
  • Page: 276
  • Format: Paperback
  • Brilliantly evoking the intrigue of the Cold War and 1950s London, John Lawtons thrilling sequel to Black Out takes Inspector Troy deep into the rotten heart of MI6, the distant days of his childhood, and the dangerous arms of an old flame Larissa Tosca, late of the U.S Army, later still of the KGB It is April 1956, and an official visit to Britain by Soviet leaders KhrBrilliantly evoking the intrigue of the Cold War and 1950s London, John Lawtons thrilling sequel to Black Out takes Inspector Troy deep into the rotten heart of MI6, the distant days of his childhood, and the dangerous arms of an old flame Larissa Tosca, late of the U.S Army, later still of the KGB It is April 1956, and an official visit to Britain by Soviet leaders Khrushchev and Bulganin is unexpectedly interrupted when a mutilated body is found under the hull of Khrushchevs ship in Portsmouth Harbor Is the dead man a Royal Navy diver or the corpse of Arnold Cockerell, a furniture salesman with a mysterious source of income As the mystery deepens, the inexplicable murders continue, leading Troy to an unforgettable discovery.

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      276 John Lawton
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      Posted by:John Lawton
      Published :2018-09-08T06:51:49+00:00

    1 thought on “Old Flames”

    1. Thought this was really good. I am liking this series. Lot of spies around here and the appearance of Larissa Tosca who we last saw in the 1940's I think. Very well constructed plot with lots of historical detail setting the time and place well and mixing in real events into a fictional story.

    2. Classic spy novel. Incredibly complex with wickedly clever word play. The plot is a delicious onion with layers that you try to anticipate the taste of, but cannot fully fathom.

    3. L'ombra scura, in originale "Old Flames", è un romanzo edito nel 1996 di spionaggio di John Lawton che è un autore di romanzi storici e di spionaggio ambientati principalmente in Inghilterra durante la seconda guerra mondiale e la guerra fredda. Il personaggio principale di questo filone è Frederick Troy: il più giovane figlio di un padre immigrato russo che è diventato un editore molto ricco di giornali e in seguito baronetto. Sfidando le aspettative di classe e della famiglia, l'indipende [...]

    4. Lawton's Chief Inspector Fred Troy of the Murder Squad is one of those tortured loners who feels he doesn't fit into any ready-made social class, political party, or group. His alienation persists even though his father, a Russian immigrant, did his best to install Troy as a card-carrying member of the British upper crust. That's a problem in post-WWII Britain, and Troy struggles with it every time he interacts with a family member, an old school friend, or a woman. Especially a woman."Old Flame [...]

    5. Lawton is a skilled writer and storyteller. His prose is easy on the eye, evocative, and hooks the reader in early and tugs them along. As a cold war thriller/crime novel, Old Flames works well. The characterisation is good and there is a strong sense of place and history. Where I have a difficulty as a reader is in respect to plausibility. The historical detail, the kinds of relationships between individuals and agencies, the political intrigue, and basics of the plot are all fine in this regar [...]

    6. Intricately well-plotted and often slow-paced detective/spy novel in the interesting Inspector Troy series. The six books involved--written out of chronological order--follow the policeman son of a wealthy Russian immigrant to Britian, from before World War 2 into the 1960s. This one takes place in 1956, involving a visit by Khrushchev to London, and spins off from there. It's important to have read the previous book in the series (Bluffing Mr. Churchill) to understand who many of the characters [...]

    7. Spent a lot of time rereading my history from the cold war era to keep straight what was happening in the world. The first part of the book was so full of world events. That plus the England jargon really slowed me down. About half way, it became easier and I finished the book in a couple days. I'm ready for book #3.

    8. The novel is set against the background of the Suez crisis simmering and the wider scenario of the British empire decadence. Old Flames is not a classic spy story: Freddy Troy is no spook, he's a copper who actually despises spooks. But his family, his story, his job bring him in frequent contact with the world of intelligence. So you will not find here the typical tradecraft stuff à la Deighton or McCarry, but rather a thick and complex plot made of police investigations crossing paths with po [...]

    9. Een uiteenzetting aan saaie details waardoor je de draad kwijtraakt in het boek, met vlagen even een leuk of interessant stukje er tussen en dan met een goede ontknoping die je verrast maar waarbij ik het jammer vond zo veel saaie pagina's te hebben doorgeworsteld. Ik denk dat het boek in de oorspronkelijke taal beter is en ook meer aansluit bij het leven in Engeland, tenminste aan de Engelse karikaturen wordt meer dan recht gedaan. Maar omdat het me zo erg tegenviel na De celliste heb ik niet m [...]

    10. Inspector Troy is back, although not so insufferable this time. Perhaps that’s because the book takes place 15 years after the first one. He’s an older, more mature version of his indestructible self. The story is sufficiently convoluted to make you wonder what’s going on for the first quarter. Plot line after plot line starts with no apparent connection to anything else. Then, magically, everything comes together in a way that makes you wonder if all the preamble was worth it.What I like [...]

    11. Just too drawn outI found this book to take much longer than necessary to set the plot in motion. The central characters are full despite the attempt to sprinkle them with a veneer of exotica. Can't see what all the fuss is about.

    12. Une toute petite histoire, étirée sur six cents pages.Un style plat, déversé sur six cents pages.Une litanie de fausses subtilités, déclamée sur six cents pages.La promesse d'un récit d'espionnage qui mêle avec habileté une histoire dans l'Histoire, affichée sur une page - la quatrième de couverture.

    13. Lawton has been compared to John Le Carre. Well, they do share a first name and place their fiction in the Cold War spy game. In Old Flames Lawton even steals from Le Carre - a minor character. Perhaps an homage to the master? However, Le Carre is an insider and the American Lawton is an outsider, and it shows. Not that Lawton doesn’t have a handle on the British. His character studies are priceless and spot on. But they’re also cliches. Cliches work to a degree because they’re based on tr [...]

    14. Now a Detective Chief Inspector, Troy is seconded to the detested “plods” of Special Branch to guard diminutive, volcanic, crude Nikita Khrushchev, during the First Secretary of the Communist Party of the USSR’s 1956 state visit to Britain. Sadly, the victorious British citizenry are still expecting the war to have changed everything--but it hasn’t, even after a decade has passed. The story clarifies some of the earlier plot points since 1946 and features details of Troy’s very odd Rus [...]

    15. Old Flames is the second of John Lawton's Inspector Troy mysteries, this time set in 1956, during an unprecedented official visit by Nikita Khrushchev. Troy, whose unusual background includes a very thorough knowledge of Russian, is pressed into service as an interpreter, security specialist, and quondam spy as a member of Khrushchev's official British escort. Along the way, he meets (and even marries!) an old flame, is involved in a scandal that reaches all the way up to Prime Minister Anthony [...]

    16. 1956, the year of Suez, the visit of Krushchev and Bulganin, and the frogman spy of Portsmouth. As in many of his novels, Lawton picks out a seminal year in which "a country and a culture redefines itself" to set an intricate novel of detection and cold war espionage. But this is more than a spy novel. It is an examination of the state of England at a time when the country is slowly coming to terms with the aftermath of the war, but has not started to look ahead. At times the prose is lyrical. I [...]

    17. This is the second in the Frederick Troy series that I began enjoying after reading a review in the Washington Post of the latest in the series. I reacted to this one the same way I did to the first: I like it well enough to continue with the series but not well enough to rave about it. If you like John leCarre this is your sort of book. I get easily confused with the intricate plot and don't care enough to go back and retrace the complicated steps Lawton takes to get from A to. . . Q? In this n [...]

    18. Set in the late 50's or so, the book is so full of English cultural references that the typical American will feel lost throughout much of the book. Having read numerous novels and magazines set in the UK made it slightly easier, but it was still tough going. If you can get past all of that, the plot makes up for it with its twists and turns. There wasn't really much in terms of action for a novel full of spies and coppers everywhere. One of the reviews stated the book was "thrilling." While I w [...]

    19. This completion means I have read all of the Troy novels in existence; it's a moment of sorrow and anticipation. In this episode, set in mid-1950s England, the Cold War rages, Soviet leaders attend a gathering in Britain, Nikita Khrushchev goes to a pub, and a frogman dies on a submarine spy mission. In other events, Troy marries a caricature of a woman from earlier days (Tosca), encounters a naked mistress (not his) in Brighton, and sleeps with her twin when the opportunity arises. Also he make [...]

    20. The second of John Lawton's books featuring the period from the bombings of London in World War II through the cold war period through the eyes of Detective Troy who actually is the son of a prominent Russian immigrant family who had come to England much earlier, more towards the time of the Russian revolution although not White russians. As goes the people involved it's almost a fairy tale conception of real and realistic situations. The characters in the first book, Black Out, were remet and r [...]

    21. This is a pretty good spy thriller, that takes place in Great Britain in the early 1950's. It has a complex plot, but it all comes together at the end. In that respect, he reminds me somewhat of LeCarre. There are a few implausible things about it. For example, the protagonist, whose grandfather was a Russian immigrant, speaks fluent Russian. During a state visit by the Soviet premier, Nikita Khrushchev, Lawton's protagonist is assigned to the squad protecting him. He ends up sneaking out for a [...]

    22. I am working my way through Lawton's Inspector Troy series which has now moved out of WWII and into the Cold War period. I find the setting and characters interesting although every once in awhile, the plot makes a confusing and unexplained turn. This particular novel leads to a gripping conclusion but leaves the reader abruptly, making you wonder, what just happened? I would expect this to lead into the next in the series, but Lawton has written them out of order in time. I am reading them chro [...]

    23. Freddie Long, head of a murder squad in Scotland Yard, becomes intricately involved in Cold War operations, first when asked to spy on Krushchev, then when an old lover/spy from postwar Berlin gets in touch with him, running from the Russians. Old school chums, drunks and pubs, unlikely spies, murders and secret bank accounts--all come clear as Troy investigates one after the other, and invariably they're all linked. Quite riveting. Incredible British lingo--very genuine and hard to understand. [...]

    24. This was my introduction to John Lawton. I heard him read from it on NPR and decided that I had to read it. It takes place in 1956 during the Kruschev visit to England. Many famous people show up in the world of Freddy Troy, an inspector for Scotland Yard who has been given the keeping of the Soviet premier for his job, mostly as a punishment. A dead scuba diver, the said premier and the seamy world of espionage ruin a perfectly good murder hunt for Troy. I loved this book and read everything La [...]

    25. So I really admire John Lawton's writing although in this one, I found the lead up to the real action of the book too long and involved. He set the scene of Krushchev's trip to London in the 1950's in almost too much detail so I began to wonder when we were getting to the real story. I continue to like Freddie Troy even though he is a narcissist and often, a colossal pain as his older brother, Rod, and all his lovers constantly tell him. That said, every time I finish a Lawton book, I'm looking [...]

    26. While I did enjoy this book, I thought the storyline around Tosca was weak. I also was confused by Jack's behaviors and the way he treated Troy. I liked the first book much better, but I am going to read the next one in the series and see how I like it. I will say that I am not a fan of bouncing back and forth by decades between books so I hope I like the next one which appears to go back towards the WWII setting of the first book. we'll see.

    27. This is a spy thriller set in the 1950's/60's. When two Russian statesman come visiting, things don't quite go to plan. A dead frogman is discovered near their warship, old spies are coming out of the woodwork and the cold war seems about ready to erupt all over again.I got a bit lost in places as I think the suthor presumed that the reader knew the major events of the day, but still enjoyed the story.

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