The Best Revenge by Gerald Seymour

I have to admit that the character of Jonas Merrick, aged, quiet, a little bit grumpy, man of routine, is the nearest to Smiley that I have read. Here, he is scheming to take down the networks the Chinese have established in the UK, a necessary task that the government and its security branches seem reluctant to undertake. All culminating whilst he is on holiday in south Devon.

There is of course, a lot more to the story than this. There is a Russian plot to kill Merrick, all of which he is oblivious to, where a convict escapes in the place of someone else and is then tasked with getting the head, or at least the ears, of Merrick. Merrick’s cat, Olaf, to the rescue here.

Much of the repetitious nature of Merrick’s life is recorded, he is the quiet, grey man who everyone leaves alone and that did grate a bit eventually. I wanted to jump ahead but forced myself to slow down and read it all. I did read the end once I was about two thirds through but it didn’t make much sense so had to go back and continue reading. If you want action and adventure, this is not the book for you. If you like a quiet man plotting in the background with a remarkably boring home life and a magnificent cat, then this is the book for you.

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