PaperBackSwap Blog

Spy Thriller Review – The Cold War Swap

The Cold War Swap by Ross Thomas

Review by Matt B. (BuffaloSavage)

During his lifetime, other writers, critics and fans ranked Ross Thomas (1926 – 1995) as one of the top thriller writers.

In this Edgar Award-winning novel series hero Mac McCorkle owns and runs a popular watering hole in Bonn, West Germany. His pal Mike Padillo uses the bar for espionage and con jobs, two activities treated as indistinguishable in Thomas’ world view. An Unnamed Mysterious Agency sends out Padillo, a resourceful clandestine agent, to do risky and sensitive jobs.

In this case, Padillo is to drag back two American defectors from East to West Germany. Snafus occur one after the other, and McCorkle has to help Padillo ferry the unstable pair back. Strengths of the novel: snappy dialogue, cynical but likable characters, and the credible milieu of the two Germanys.

Thomas is especially savvy when he’s talking about uniforms and clothes; often his novels have funny tangents about the messages telegraphed by male fashion choices.



Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply