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Paperback:Dead letter drop.:2014 Dead letter drop.
Author: James, Peter.
Publication year: 2014
Language: English
Media class: Paperback
Publisher: London : Pan Books, 2014.
ISBN: 144725595X 9781447255956 (pbk): £8.99
Originally published: London: W.H. Allen, 1981.
Max Flynn, undercover agent, has the unenviable job of spying on his own side. When to kill, who to kill, whether to kill are all questions which have to be answered at great speed if he wants to stay alive. But why does an innocuous airline ticket No. 14B matter so much? Who has gone to the trouble of committing suicide? And could Flynn's beautiful companion be a spy?
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239 pages.


A reviewer called Peter James’s first novel, "Dead Letter Drop" (1981), a silly book and it is. The style is over-clever and is an odd mix of Americanisms and British English, the latter aspect over-stuffed with metaphors. It is quite different from the controlled style which James subsequently worked out for his successful Roy Grace series. A contrast might be drawn between Ian Rankin”s spy novel, “Watchman”, published early in a career which came to be based on detective fiction. Rankin gets the 1980s context mostly right and doesn’t rely on flashy writing and absurd turns of plot. Peter James would have been better advised to have left this novel out of print.
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