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David Audley is an unlikely spy. True, he works for England's Ministry of Defense, but strictly as a back-room man, doing meticulous research on the Middle East. This new assignment, then, comes as something of a surprise: A WWII-era British cargo place has been discovered at the bottom of a drained lake, complete with the dead pilot and not much else. Why are the Soviets so interested in the empty plane and its pilot-interested enough to attend the much-belated funeral? And why has Audley been tapped to lead the investigation? As Audley chips away at the first question, he can't stop asking the second. Could he possibly have been given the assignment in order to fail, to preserve the decades-old secrets at the bottom of the lake? If that's the case, someone's made an error. Audley's a scholas by training, temperamentally allergic to loose ends. And the story he unravels is going to make some people very uncomfortable indeed.… (mere)
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The Cold War Espionage novel, The Labyrinth Makers by Anthony Price was that author’s debut novel, first published in 1970. The book introduces David Audley, a government back-room research man whose specialty is the Middle East. Therefore no one is more surprised than he at his new assignment. A WW II British plane has been discovered at the bottom of a drained lake, complete with the dead pilot. What has got everyone so intrigued about this is that the Soviets are very interested in both the plane and the pilot. Audley is charged with finding what happened to the smuggled cargo that should have been on the plane and why it is so important to the Russians.

Although the exact timing of the novel isn’t pin-pointed but it certainly felt like it was set in the 1960’s, with mentions of mini-skirts, The Lord of the Rings, and casual attitudes towards sex. As Audley investigates the situation, he meets the deceased pilot’s daughter and they become involved. As he digs deeper he has to deal with a witness being murdered and his own home being bugged.

I found The Labyrinth Makers to be a tense and compelling story much more along the lines of a Graham Greene novel than one of Ian Fleming’s. The author gives us a complex plot rife with hidden agendas and an intelligent, slightly detached main character to put the pieces together. The novel is well crafted and gives us a pragmatic look at the mid 20th century spy business. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Aug 22, 2023 |
paperback
  SueJBeard | Feb 14, 2023 |
hardback
  SueJBeard | Feb 14, 2023 |
Labyrinth Makers 1
  SueJBeard | Jan 8, 2023 |
Not bad. Read it based on Jo Walton's review ( )
  smbass | Jan 30, 2022 |
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David Audley is an unlikely spy. True, he works for England's Ministry of Defense, but strictly as a back-room man, doing meticulous research on the Middle East. This new assignment, then, comes as something of a surprise: A WWII-era British cargo place has been discovered at the bottom of a drained lake, complete with the dead pilot and not much else. Why are the Soviets so interested in the empty plane and its pilot-interested enough to attend the much-belated funeral? And why has Audley been tapped to lead the investigation? As Audley chips away at the first question, he can't stop asking the second. Could he possibly have been given the assignment in order to fail, to preserve the decades-old secrets at the bottom of the lake? If that's the case, someone's made an error. Audley's a scholas by training, temperamentally allergic to loose ends. And the story he unravels is going to make some people very uncomfortable indeed.

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