These ten novels - three trilogies and a single prequel of sorts - are Deighton's magnum opus, a spy fiction classic which updated the genre at the height of the Cold War and perfectly replicated the tensions and uncertainties of the Cold War in the 'eighties in the relationship between top field agent Bernard Samson and his wife, Fiona. What follows ia a story on an epic scale with numerous story arcs and hidden character flaws revealed over ten books.
The above illustration is by illustrator Adrian Bail, who designed character illustrations for all the main characters in the series. In the end, it would seem, only the design image of Fiona Samson - in the bottom right, the lady with the scarf - was used by publisher Hutchinson for the first UK edition of Spy Sinker (see below). Note, the figure on the far right is Len Deighton himself!
The unnamed hero is charged by his bosses at W.O.O.C.P. to untangle the mystery of the UK's disappearing scientists
His wife a defector, Bernard Samson must travel to Mexico to recruit a KGB general in order to prove his worth to the department.
Interrogated in Berlin, Bernard Samson comes under pressure following his wife's defection and embroiled in a fight across the Wall.
A break in the trilogy introduces us to the origins of some of the characters in the novels, such as Lisl Hennig and Bernard Samson's father..
Bernard is back in Berlin and is aiming to get to the bottom of his wife's defection after receiving a clue from an unlikely source
Told in the third person, this book reveals the truth behind what's happened in the story so far and reveals significant duplicity among the characters.
With his wife back in the west Bernard must cope with the impact on his marriage and his job. He starts to search for the truth behind what happened.
Bernard is confronting with a dying Polish man on his doorstep, which offers up a clue to discover what really happened to his sister-in-law in the Berlin shootout