Mar 22, 2012

Paul Dark Returns - Soon!

The published UK release date for Jeremy Duns' latest Paul Dark novel, The Moscow Option (at one time known as Free World), came and went last month, worrying me, because I'm very eager to read it. But today Jeremy has posted a reassuring update on his blog, The Debrief, with lots of exciting Dark book news! The Moscow Option (which Duns teases "is set in the Soviet Union and Finland in October 1969, and features sunken U-boats, a hunter-killer unit chasing Dark through icebound forests and a countdown to the end of the world") will see UK publication next month, in paperback. Additionally, in America, Penguin will publish an omnibus collecting the entire trilogy, The Dark Chronicles. This is significant because so far only the first book, Free Agent, had been published in the U.S. The Dark Chronicles collects that along with the second novel, Song of Treason (originally published in England as Free Country, but re-titled for its paperback release over there) and The Moscow Option. So even if you've already bought the first book, you're still getting a good deal on the other two... plus a really cool, pulpy cover! And if you haven't yet bought or read any of Duns' Paul Dark books, then you're in for a treat. These Sixties-set Cold War spy thrillers successfully combine the best aspects of the "Desk Man" and "Field Man" sides of the spy genre, delivering incredibly entertaining stories actually deserving of blurbs like the one on the cover comparing Duns to both le Carré and Fleming (the respective epitomes of each corner of the genre), as well as Deighton, who was the master of marrying the two. It shouldn't come as much surprise that Duns manages to pull off such a feat, as he's an avowed fan of spy fiction in all its forms, and an undeniable expert on the subject. Still, expertise doesn't necessarily translate into quality prose writing, but fortunately Duns has a gift for that as well. To my shame, I've never actually reviewed any of Duns' books on the Double O Section, but perhaps this anthology edition is just the excuse I need to finally do so. The Moscow Option comes out in the UK on April 12; The Dark Chronicles hits American shelves on May 29.

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