Operation Saladin: Sequel to 'The Wayward Spy.'
Roger Croft, author
In pre-civil war Syria, former MI6 agent Michael Vaux comes in from the cold to help Britain's Secret Intelligence Service persuade a dissident Syrian nuclear scientist to defect.
The transfer of dynastic power in Syria sparks romantic rivalry, espionage, and adventure in this complexly plotted spy thriller. Former covert operator Michael Vaux, now a booze-loving journalist, sheds his identity and is recruited by a British intelligence unit to help Syrian nuclear scientist Nessim Said, code-named Saladin, defect to the West. Croft renders a plausible account of the ambiguities of espionage, while his world of double-dealing and treachery, with a suggestion of indifferent, manipulative bureaucrats, confirms the dour observation of a veteran spymaster that loyalty among spies verges upon being an oxymoron. Croft's moral wilderness and compilation of treachery rings far truer than the glamour of a James Bond, and the clash between romance, personal loyalty, and institutional duplicity bears the unmistakable tone of one who knows.