Hope - 1995

The Samson series

Plot summary

Bernard and Fiona are struggling to get back to how things were after the truth of his wife's defection and return is revealed. Deighton asks the reader: can treachery in a marriage, let alone the spying game, ever be reconciled?

Bernard is confronted with an injured man on his doorstep one evening, the prelude to a series of events that starts to uncover the facts behind Tessa Kosinski’s murder in Berlin and which paints the department in an even more unfavourable light through the machinations of old hands Silas Gaunt and Bret Rensselaer, bringing Bernard into conflict with his superiors once again.

Bernard must return to Poland with Dicky Cruyer to find out the reason why his brother law George Kozinski travelling regularly to Poland.

Why it's enjoyable

Bernard’s tenacity comes across on every page. Having been through so much and with the world - and his colleagues - seemingly so much against him, he battles through because he has the scent of some huge meta-secret about this whole farrago that he still has to uncover and which could bring down London Central. Fiona, meanwhile, is back working in the department, on the face of it as if nothing happened.

Moving the action to Poland and depicting the Solidarity movement also brings home how closely linked this story is to the wider machinations of a Cold War Europe close to collapse, but still not buckling under. The reader also gets to see another side of the cuckolded husband George Kosinski that they would never have guessed at.

Sample dialogue

'"I was right," said Dicky triumphantly. "It's the Kozinski place isn't it?"

"Yes, Dicky. You were right."

"People are always telling me I have a sixth sense: Fingerspitzgefühl - intuition, eh?"

"Yes," I said. "Fingertip sensititivity. It's what safe-crackers and pickpockets have too."

"Very bloody funny," said Dicky, his usual sense of humour failing him."'

Related fact

The jacket illustration is by Joe Partridge. It's not clear exactly who it is supposed to be but the best guess is Dicky Cruyer, who takes a leading role in this story.

Hope

Hope, UK first edition, 1995

Deighton on prediction

"My whole Bernard Samson series was based on my belief that the Berlin Wall would fall before the end of the century"