The Mysterious Bookshop

Lawton, John, The Unfortunate Englishman: A Joe Wilderness Novel

Branching off from his widely acclaimed Inspector Troy novels, John Lawton deliversThe Unfortunate Englishman, a captivating, meticulously researched, and richly detailed historical thriller set during the height of the Cold War, starring East End Londoner turned spy Joe Wilderness.

Having shot someone in what he believed was self-defense in the fog of 1963 Berlin, Wilderness finds himself locked up with little chance to escape. But an official pardon from Burne-Jones, a senior agent at MI6, means he is free to goalthough forever in Burne-Jones’s debt. His return to London is brief, when another assignment from Burne-Jones puts him into the line of danger again. His newest operation will take him back to Berlin, where he spent several years working the black market while employed by MI6 after the war, and which is now the dividing line between the West and the Soviets. Khrushchev and Kennedy are playing a game of chicken, gambling with the fate of millions of German lives. On August 13, 1963, barbed wire is laid down, separating the Soviet controlled sectors from the rest of the city. This wire will become a wall. With an old paramour at threat in the divided city, and the inscrutable Khrushchev developing plans for something which could change the fate of the Cold War forever, Wilderness is thrust into matters well beyond his control. And meanwhile, MI6’s new man in Moscow has to improvise some quite unusual techniques in order to get the information he needs.