I am a huge fan of Thriller and when Author John Michell, approached me for the review of his book ‘The Lone wolf at cover’, I knew reading this book was going to be a hell of a roller coaster experience. The Lone Wolf at Cover by John Mitchell is not your normal Spy thriller. It will take you to the murky alleys of Intelligence services in the Cold war era.
Publication Date: May 22nd, 2018
Page Count: 498 pages
Opening Sentence: “It’s Berlin. Monday 19 December 1966. East Berlin, actually. At dusk.”
The Lone Wolf at Cover is a book for readers interested in espionage, international relations, and the many facets of human interaction. At its basic, the novel is a dark story of human frailty, one offering a fresh slant on the popular Cold War spy fiction genre. Its main character, Joe Lambert, is a British spy unburdened by outrageous talents. Beyond detailing in first-person his life and times as a spy during the Cold War, Lambert’s narrative is also infused with a human interest story tenuously biographical of the author reflecting office politics; internecine career ambition; and human foibles, limitation, and imperfection. Actual historical backdrops give the novel further realism and anchor it to the Cold War period.
Lambert is an emotionally isolated man who in 1965, in an accident of UK political history, becomes recruit into the British Secret Intelligence Service. Over the ensuing twenty-five years, he battles his personal demons and hostile colleagues, firstly seeking career fulfillment before becoming an uncompromising avenger driven by the KGB’s murder of his first love. Lambert’s quest for revenge brings him into conflict with his own Service and the CIA. He also discovers he is a KGB recruitment target – and finds love for the second time. Lambert’s story is brought to its conclusion in 1990, while on a Top Secret mission in Moldova, at a time when the Soviet Union is preparing to implode and the end of the Cold War nears.
The story spans between 1979 to 2012. Joe Lambert narrates it in the first person. This novel is complex and yet entertaining. There are a lot of names and stories to assimilate but don’t despair, they sort themselves out as the plot advances. There is a lot of spy jargon, but if you enjoy reading spy thriller, then this is the one for you.
The book has many layers of pulse peaking twist and turns. After about 60%-70% of the book, the real nail-biting game starts. By real, I mean, a story to keep me on perpetual edge of my sanity. Needless to say, I was hooked.
Written by someone who has a fair idea of the British intelligence, has put a perfect balance of pure logic and research into the book. Historic background mentioned in the book have added a bonus for me. Very skillful plotting.
Every character in the book has a role to play; small or big, doesn’t matter. Author Michell has done an excellent job of carving out the characters. Each has a unique personality and each has a story to tell.
The Climax was simply amazing and a bit saddening but not all good books have a happy ending.
The first 20-30 pages were slow, but I guess, it was the demand of the story. It was also a bit tedious at some places, throughout the book. Overall quite an enjoyable read it was.
I look forward to reading all future John Michell books.
If you’re just starting to read then this book is not for you. But this book is definitely for Espionage and Spy thriller lovers. Trust me you will love it.
I give it 4/5.
Get your Copy
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and purchase one of these products, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products I have used and love. If you enjoy Booxoul, using these affiliate links is one way to support our blog. 🙂