Porter, Henry. A Spy’s Life. Simon & Schuster, March 2002. c304p. ISBN 0-7432-1560-5. $25. Fiction.

Robert Harland, a water inspector for the United Nations, is the sole survivor of an airplane crash at New York’s La Guardia Airport. His seatmate, Alan Griswald, had been investigating Bosnian atrocities for the War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague, and the UN secretary-general asks Harland to continue Griswald’s investigation. Before he gets far, a young man shows up, claiming to be his son, and Griswald’s former boss in British intelligence tracks him down. Harland’s shadowy past as a spy begins to intersect with his search for a war criminal, who has ties to the intelligence agencies of Western powers. Harland must unravel the mysterious jet crash, fight accusations of treason, find out what his son is involved in, and locate a former lover, all while avoiding murder plots and struggling with the haunting memories of his own Cold War experiences. This entertaining second novel by Porter (Remembrance Day) never flags despite a labyrinthine plot whose action extends from the United States to England and on to Eastern Europe. Recommended for all public libraries.

LJ, vol. 127, no. 4 (March 1, 2002), 140.


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