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Moments after a mysterious air crash at La Guardia Airport, a cell phone rings out from the wreckage in the East River. Stunned and half dead from cold and drowning, the lone survivor, Robert Harland, wades to the remains of an airline seat where his old friend from the CIA lies dead. He snatches the phone from the body, knowing that it is his only hope of being rescued from the rising tide.
This is the first act in a journey of survival for the former British spy who, in the twelve years since he was tortured during the Velvet Revolution, has made a new life for himself in the Red Cross and later as a water expert for the United Nations.
The crash of the UN plane wrenches him back to his past. Was it sabotage, and if so, was Harland the target or someone else? And what has it got to do with the broadcast of coded signals by certain European radio stations? The authorities on both sides of the Atlantic are urgently seeking answers and everyone suspects that Harland is the only one who can supply them. He is tailed through Manhattan and attacked in UN headquarters. Someone wants him dead, but they also want his knowledge. And as if to confirm his previous life has come to haunt him, another ghost from his past rises -- the mother of a young man who now claims to be his son.
This is just the beginning of Henry Porter's riveting new novel about a lone man, scarred by love and the patient sadism of his torturer, confronting his deepest secrets and fears. Ingeniously plotted and paced, Porter's novel hurtles from New York to Eastern Europe and to the killing grounds of a forgotten war. It propels the flawed and human hero through a labyrinth of suspicion and secrecy, wherenothing and no one are what they seem.
"A Spy's Life" is how the intelligence world really is, rendered unflinchingly in the history of one unforgettable individual.