Wilson, Robert. The Company of Strangers. Harcourt. Oct 2001. c.480p. ISBN 0-15-100846-9. $25.00. Fiction.

This uneven but ultimately satisfying novel follows the life of Andrea Aspinall, recruited by British intelligence to gather secrets in Lisbon near the end of World War II. Following a disastrous affair with Karl Voss, the German military attaché, a relationship that apparently results in his execution, Andrea marries a Portuguese major. When her husband and son both die fighting in the colonial wars in Africa in 1968, Andrea returns to London. She becomes involved with Communists, returns to work for the SIS, and is sent on a risky mission to East Berlin, where traitors abound and long-held secrets hold their own risks. Wilson, award-winning author of A Small Death in Lisbon, returns to the same atmospheric settings in Portugal (where he is at his best) and Germany, but the Byzantine plot and half-century time span detract from the penetrating analysis of the human heart that makes this novel worth reading. Recommended for larger public libraries.

LJ, vol. 126, no. 13 (August 2001), 167.

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