Watchman

Watchman

3.51 (2,189 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Paperback
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Description

Bombs are exploding in the streets of London, but life seems to have planted more subtle booby-traps for Miles Flint. Miles is a spy. His job is to watch and to listen, then to report back to his superiors, nothing more. The job, affording glimpses into the most private lives of his victims, appeals to Miles. He doesn't lust after promotion, and he doesn't want action. He wants, just for once, not to botch a case. Having lost one suspect - with horrific consequences - Miles becomes too involved with another, a young Irishwoman. His marriage seems ready to crumble to dust. So does his home. But Miles is given one last chance for redemption - a trip to Belfast, which quickly becomes a flight of terror, murder and shocking discoveries. But can the voyeur survive in a world of violent action?show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 106 x 178 x 24mm | 181.44g
  • Orion Publishing Co
  • Orion mass market paperback
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 0752859455
  • 9780752859453

Review Text

An early, Rebus-less spy thriller from Rankin (The Naming of the Dead, 2007, etc.), published for the first time in the United States.Miles Flint, a weary, aging dogsbody in MI5's surveillance-and-report unit (the "Watcher" service), decides to tag along and help tail "Latchkey," an Arab businessman who might have skulduggery in mind. Despite the surveillance, Latchkey bolts, leading to an Israeli decapitation and major cover-ups by several secret services, most of which attract attention from Flint, who suspects something fishy is going on. Soon Flint is on the run from those who want to silence him, a crowd that includes his superior Partridge; his wife's new romantic interest, his colleague Billy Monmouth; and Andrew Gray, who, with CIA backing, has several informants on his payroll. Flint is sent packing to Belfast, supposedly to oversee the apprehension of some IRA terrorists, but the fix is in, and the beleaguered watcher must flee with Will Collins, one of the pair whose arrest he was supposed to be witnessing. The two piece together a saga of frayed allegiances, self-aggrandizement and chicanery that began with an assassination and spanned the career of an MP on a security-funding commission before winding up as a four-part investigative series in a London daily.Not as stylishly compelling as Rankin's later efforts, but a gritty appraisal of the bomb-wielding miasma of the 1980s and a highly readable explanation of the demons that drive zealots to switch sides. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

About Ian Rankin

Born in the Kingdom of Fife in 1960, Ian Rankin graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1982, and then spent three years writing novels when he was supposed to be working towards a PhD in Scottish Literature. His first Rebus novel was published in 1987, and the Rebus books are now translated into twenty-two languages and are bestsellers on several continents. Ian Rankin has been elected a Hawthornden Fellow, and is also a past winner of the Chandler-Fulbright Award, as well as receiving two Dagger Awards for the year's best short story and the Gold Dagger for Fiction. He has also been shortlisted for the Edgar and Anthony Awards in the USA, and won Denmark's Palle Rosenkrantz Prize in 2000. Ian Rankin is also the recipient of honorary degrees from the universities of Abertay, St Andrews and Edinburgh. A contributor to BBC2's 'Newsnight Review', he also presented his own TV series, 'Ian Rankin's Evil Thoughts', on Channel 4 in 2002. His most recent novel, A QUESTION OF BLOOD, was a Sunday Times Number One bestseller in both hardback and paperback. He recently received the OBE for services to literature, opting to receive the prize in his home city of Edinburgh, where he lives with his partner and two sons.show more

Rating details

2,189 ratings
3.51 out of 5 stars
5 15% (334)
4 35% (765)
3 38% (822)
2 10% (225)
1 2% (43)
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