Set in the 1980s and with actual speaking roles for both Gorbachev and Reagan, this is a frothy concoction of super spies, deadly double agents, a scheme to take control of Russia and some stinking fish soup. It’s boy’s own escapism pulled off with the ghostly bearded shadow of Rasputin hanging over every page of it.
Jackson clearly wants to have as much fun as he can and so – into an already packed narrative – also throws a fiancée with a grudge and a dogged investigative journalist. I did wonder whether there might be too many component parts, if the book might be over-extending itself, as surely there was no way Jackson could get them to fit altogether. But if you go with it, it’s a cracking yarn that has all the over the top drama and excitement of an old-fashioned Bond film. A bomb-countdown finale and all!
If you fancy a free short story, my tale of paranoia and internal months, SOMETHING WENT WRONG, is available here.