The Private Sector
Eric Ambler, John Buchan, Erskine Childers, Arthur Conan Doyle, Joseph Conrad, Len Deighton, Ian Fleming, Frederick Forsyth, Graham Greene, Geoffrey Household, John le Carre, Robert Ludlum and Joseph Hone. What do they have in common? They wrote spy thrillers and all have appeared in a recent survey of the fifty best books in that genre. Although he may be the least known, the inclusion of Joseph Hone was not eccentric. The particular title chosen was The Private Sector , the first of his Peter Marlow titles. The author and the title are fully deserving of this accolade.
'Joe Hone is a marvelously compelling, acute and subtle writer of spy novels. The “Peter Marlow” sequence should be rediscovered and acclaimed as enduring classics of the genre.' William Boyd
The time is May, 1967 in the weeks leading up to the Arab/Israeli six day war. The place is Cairo. The story is Peter Marlow's, an Irish teacher and secret agent sent from London to find his friend and fellow spy, Henry Edwards who has vanished from Cairo. During the course of this fool's errand, he also finds his former wife, Bridget, who is now deeply involved with Edwards both emotionally and professionally. Marlow moves easily in British and Egyptian intelligence branches, attaching his allegiance to neither until he becomes the unwitting victim of a failed plot to topple Nasser.
Credible and dramatic, this is a story of callous political and human intrigue and of a mission which can only succeed if none of the men return.
Faber Finds is reissuing all four of the Peter Marlow spy novels: The Private Sector , The Sixth Directorate , The Valley of the Fox and The Flowers of the Forest .
'An absolutely terrific espionage novel. It's always a mark of a good writer if he can take a genre that a good many other writers have worked in and bring something new and distinctive to it. That Joseph Hone has certainly done.' James Dickey
'A brilliant and calculated spy story ... His characters and the quality of the writing are so good that he has transcended the usual limitations of the genre.' Times Literary Supplement
'Mr Hone writes Len Deighton into the ground. It's much more than just a spy story, and set in the Egypt he knows so well that he occasionally out-Durrell's Durrell.' New Statesman
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