The Righteous Spy by Merle Nygate blog tour @MerleNygate @Verve_Books

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour today for The Righteous Spy by Merle Nygate, the first book to be published by Verve Books, a new digital imprint, it is also Merle’s debut novel.

The Righteous Spy final cover (1)



Eli Amiram is Mossad’s star spy runner and the man responsible for bringing unparalleled intelligence to the Israeli agency. Now, he’s leading an audacious operation in the UK that feeds his ambition but threatens his conscience.

The British and the Americans have intel Mossad desperately need. To force MI6 and the CIA into sharing their priceless information, Eli and his maverick colleague Rafi undertake a risky mission to trick their allies: faking a terrorist plot on British soil.

But in the world of espionage, the game is treacherous, opaque and deadly…


Doesn’t that sound good? If you’re interested in purchasing a copy of the book the link is at the bottom of this post. Now, if you’d like to brush up on your spy knowledge, why not have a go at answering the questions below.



6           What is a shoe?

A           Russian intelligence jargon for passport

B           British intelligence jargon for a DNA test

C           Israeli intelligence jargon for super-secret

D           American intelligence jargon for easy access to a source


7           What is Tombstoning?

A           Visiting cemeteries to find child deaths to assist with faking new identities

B           Taking part in a tourist trip to get close enough for a targeted assassination

C           A hobby that’s similar to brass rubbing.


8           What is Treff?

A           Hungarian goulash immortalised in Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale

B           The international intelligence term for a rendezvous with an agent

C           Intelligence from an asset that is so low grade that it’s completely worthless


9           What is meant by cultivation?

A           Secret drug farms used to fund spy activity

B           Development of a potential asset

C           Training courses that take place at The Farm, the CIA training facility in Virginia


10         What’s a walk in?

A           A volunteer spy who approaches an intelligence agency asking to work for them

B           A method of checking that you’re not being followed by walking into shops or buildings.

C           An intelligence boss recruited from outside of a department


If you think you’ve answered all the questions above correctly, don’t forget to check out on Twitter tomorrow to see if you were right. The answers will be published on Verve Book’s official Twitter account @Verve_Books

Don’t forget to check out the other bloggers taking part in the tour, for reviews and lots more interesting content. Thank you to Katherine Sunderland at Verve Books for inviting me to take part. If you would like to purchase a copy of The Righteous Spy you can do so by clicking the link below.

Publisher: Verve Books

Publication date: 18th October 2018

Print length: 277 pages



Updated Blog Tour Poster

The Looking Glass War by John Le Carré Book Review @lecarre_news @classicpenguins

Today I’m delighted to be joining a special blog tour, organised by Penguin to celebrate the completion of a project which has published 21 of John Le Carre’s works as modern classics. This makes him the only living author to have the greatest body of work to be awarded classic status. And one of his classics The Little Drummer Girl is soon to be a major six part drama on the BBC.

To help celebrate this achievement I have a review of The Looking Glass War to share with you, and I have one copy of the book to giveaway. To enter the competition, all you have to do is retweet my pinned tweet, leave me a comment with the following hashtag #TheLookingGlassWar and follow me at @collinsjacob115. One winner will be drawn at random. The competition will end on Wednesday, 10th October 2018 at midnight. Good luck!

The Looking Glass War (George Smiley Series Book 4) by [le Carré, John ]


A Cold War thriller from the master of spy fiction, John le Carré’s The Looking Glass War is a gripping novel of double-crosses, audacious bluffs and the ever-present threat of nuclear war, published in Penguin Modern Classics.

When the Department – faded since the war and busy only with bureaucratic battles – hears rumour of a missile base near the West German border, it seems like the perfect opportunity to regain some political standing in the Intelligence market place. The Cold War is at its height and the Department is dying for a piece of the action.

Swiftly becoming carried away by fear and pride, the Department and her officers send deactivated agent Fred Leiser back into East Germany, armed only with some schoolboy training and his memories of the war. In the land of eloquent silence that is Communist East Germany, Leiser’s fate becomes inseparable from the Department’s.


I was drawn into this book from the opening line. John le Carre’s writing commands such a strong sense of place, and it immediately captured my attention. The imagery is very dark and atmospheric.

The Looking Glass War, first published in 1965, is the first book by John le Carré which I have read; I did watch The Night Manager when it was on TV a couple of years ago, and I remember being so gripped by the drama as it unfolded. This definitely won’t be the last John le Carré book I read. It is the fourth book in the George Smiley series, but it can easily be read as a standalone.

What I thought was particularly strong about this book was the characterisation. I was fascinated by the people who worked in the Department, which was once an essential military agency during the Second World War, but now it doesn’t carry the same prestige as it once did. The characters are ambitious, especially Leclerc, who is the director of the Department. But Leclerc’s ambition almost verges on being dangerous, especially as this novel is set during the era of The Cold War which significantly darkens the tone of the book. The “glory days” of the Second World War are still very fresh in some of the characters minds, and they are keen for the Department to return to what it once was.

In the opening pages of the book, a British spy is killed while working for the Department abroad. He is waiting for a plane to land during a snowstorm, carrying an important piece of information, a film, that he is meant to collect and return with to London when he is killed in a hit and run. His death puts the operation the Department is undertaking in jeopardy, and they have to rethink their plans and get everything up and running again as swiftly as possible. This is the mystery part of the novel which really intrigued me.

John le Carré does delve into the psyche of his characters in his book, in particular, Avery, who is sent out to finish the job that resulted in another man’s death. I liked that we got to see into his family life. You do get the sense that he is, aside from his job, just an ordinary guy, with ordinary family troubles.

The Looking Glass War is a quick read, which offers a fascinating glimpse into the spy world. John le Carré is a spy novelist who knows what he is talking about. I’m looking forward to reading more of John le Carre’s works. Thank you to Sarah Wright at Penguin for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

Publisher: Penguin

Publication date: 3rd November 2011

Print length: 340 pages




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