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The Unfortunate Englishman

Written by: John Lawton
Narrated by: Lewis Hancock
Series: Joe Wilderness
Length: 11 hrs and 26 mins

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Publisher's Summary

Having shot someone in the chaos of 1963 Berlin, Joe Wilderness finds himself locked up, with little chance of escape. But an official pardon through his father-in-law, Burne-Jones, a senior agent at MI6, means he is free to go.

His newest operation will take him back to Berlin, now the dividing line between the West and the Soviets. When the Russians started building the Berlin Wall in 1961, two 'Unfortunate Englishmen' were trapped on opposite sides. In 1965 there is a plan to exchange the prisoners on Berlin’s bridge of spies. But, as ever, Joe has something on the side, just to make it profitable.

A thrilling tale of Khrushchev, Kennedy, a spy exchange...and 10,000 bottles of fine Bordeaux.

©2016 John Lawton (P)2016 Oakhill Publishing

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • The Curator
  • 17-02-20

Back in Berlin for spy swaps

This one took a while to grab me. It felt like at took a long time to really get going but then again there a lot of threads to weave before they all tie up at the end.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Andy Houldsworth
  • 17-09-16

Nearly gave this one back...

First Wilderness novel in any format. First quarter of the book I was finding it a bit irritating.

Whereas the author and the reader seemed to be English, the reader was very good at accents, the pronunciation was very odd in places. The story contained a lot of good period detail and references to really arcane (to Non UK readers) British facts and institutions. What rang untrue was the narrator referring to "missills" which all Brits would pronounce "Missyles", "Mos-cow", "Van Gogh" as "Van Go" etc. It seemed to be heavy handed editing on the part of the publishers. Also no references whatsoever to UK or GB; everything was "England" including a total inaccuracy "England is an island" (it isn't). I know this probably sounds pedantic but it blew my trust in some of the other detail.

I persevered, and I reckon if I had read a non US print version would have been very impressed.

Congratulations to the narrator on his singing a Russian folk song, although a pedantic Russian listener may not agree! Enjoyable book, I reckon I might buy a few more in this series.