Simon & Schuster, Mar 2002, 25.00, 390 pp.
When the UN plane crashed near LaGuardia Airport, Robert Harland quickly realizes he is in great danger of drowning, as the rescuers have no idea he was dumped into the nearby East River. He struggles over to where Alan Griswold reclines in a busted up seat, but finds his friend is dead. Robert's personal luck continues when Alan's cell phone rings. This enables Alan to inform the caller where he is. Robert takes Alan's wallet with him before the rescuers save his life.
As Robert recovers from his one in a fifty billion chance of survival, he learns what happened. Transportation blames it on physics, but the FBI hints at sabotage. UN Secretariat Jaidi asks Robert to learn why someone destroyed a plane, murdering officially ten people and unofficially eleven in order to kill Alan. Apparently, Alan had damaging information on someone. A former espionage agent, Robert agrees to uncover the truth even as a young man Tomas Rath comes into his life claiming to be his son through a liaison over two decades ago with Czech Eva Houresh.
Rarely does a novel start off as exciting as a SPY'S LIFE does. Henry Porter never eases up on the throttle from his first page in the East River to the final overseas confrontation. The espionage thriller is very complex though it appears to contain an unnecessary spin or two too many. The cast is developed so that readers appreciate Robert as a fabulous lead character while those who seem on the hero's side and his enemies round out a strong tale of international intrigue.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner