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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

A thrilling novel of espionage and murder in the dark heart of Westminster, from the UK's most exciting new spy writer.

A Russian defector is found brutally murdered in a London hotel.

Only four people knew he had turned - the four most important and powerful figures in Whitehall.

There's only one conclusion - a mole has infiltrated the highest levels of the nation's security.

Operating in secret from within Westminster's darkest corners, former spy Solomon Vine must uncover the traitor.

Because Britain's future hangs in the balance.

And with it the fate of the whole world....

©2021 Matthew Richardson (P)2021 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"Proof that the spy genre is flourishing in the 21st century.... [Richardson's] plotting has an old-school, Swiss-clock precision." (Guardian)

"Compelling, intense and sharply authentic." (James Swallow, best-selling author of Nomad)

"A splendid tale of espionage starring an old-fashioned MI6 hero...exciting spy literature." (Times)

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What listeners say about The Insider

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Topical and gripping .

Firstly to say, Sean Barrett is a master narrator. I seem to be following him around Aubile more than the authors. He makes the books come to life.
However this story is good in itself, gripping to the last . Birth of a new Spy character .

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Very George Smilie

Really enjoyed this book.
But I couldn’t help but feel I was listening to a John Le Carre novel, and that’s not a bad thing.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Romped through this in a one day binge

Very fun, tense and brutal classic Spy Tale. Sean Barrett once again proving he has no equal.

I guessed the ending but that was because there were was beginning to be a dearth of characters left but did not see the twist.

Excellent. Barrett does female power tones excellently ever since Slough House, Diana.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Beautifully constructed!

Can’t wait for more from this author.
Only slight criticism is that although reading is first class it suggests an older protagonist.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Disappointing

If you like tales dealing in the shadowy world of spooks and moles where the lead character is constantly looking over his shoulder, then this book is for you.. Unfortunately I do not. I nearly gave up when I reached chapter 40 and it was only the narration by Sean Barrett that made me continue.. But then I could listen to Sean if he was reading a bus timetable.

2 people found this helpful

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Class…!

An excellent spy story, top quality writing beautifully read, looking forward to more from this author

2 people found this helpful

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Enjoyable, and beautifully read.

New author to me, but Sean Barrett’s reading gave me confidence to try it and it carried me through a long drive to Scotland and back from Gloucestershire.

Kept me guessing!

1 person found this helpful

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Riveting and pertinent to our times

Great story, right length, relatable main character. I've been listening to this while the terrible war in Ukraine is going on: read this and you'll find an "interesting" twist at the end. Perhaps I'm getting old but I found the volume of the recording lower than usual.

1 person found this helpful

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Gripping Spy Story

Voice very appropriate for the story. Needed a little more variation in pitch and tone. Story full of twists and turns. Really enjoyed it.

1 person found this helpful

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Ripping yarn - like finding a new Le Carre/McBain

Have to say I loved this. First off it has Sean Barratt, and hes just great at this stuff. You just relax and let him tell you a story.

This book has all the tropes you love if your into Le Carre and McBain. Moscow Rules, chalk, dead letter boxes, rude politicians, clever enemies. It borrows a lot from Tinker Tailor, but clearly with some love.

Personally I like my spy stories really slow and this book could have been longer. Also Im not sure I got one particular bit of plot - but I didnt care by that point. Listened to it over three days and was sad when it finished. Hope he does some more as hes found a way to do Le Carre in a modern setting with modern tech (that sort of ruins the Cold War vibe).

Good book! Get it!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Brian D. Baird
  • 02-12-21

A TRUELY EXCEPTIONAL YOUNG AUTHOR

With 900 books downloaded I'm becoming increasingly frustrated. Those of you who have loved audible books over the years I'm sure feel the same way. Our standards have risen actually, haven't they, having been exposed to excellent writing and superb narration on occasion, it becomes very difficult to go back. The authors I have listened to over the years, even if talented, become lazy, don't put the work in, and turn out really lousy books year after year now. Combine poor quality prose, with mediocre narration and it really becomes an unsatisfying experience. Then by chance, I stumbled onto this young author, this being his second novel, joined by Mr. Barrett as voice actor who is just superb. I hope this pairing goes on forever!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 27-03-22

great classic espionage

as good as the best of today and of older days of the cold war, le carre(still), silva, greaney, a very few others. hard to find this level of espionage novels these days, unfortunately almost all other authors nowadays can't write. reminiscent of Forsyth's Fourth Protocol.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Josef Sikelianos
  • 04-06-22

I wanted to love it

I really wanted to love it, to be sucked in. But the narrator just never sparked. It feels like a good effort on the author’s part, and there’s an atmosphere and subtlety that comes across, an appealing dryness. There are some nice passages and clever turns of phrase. But I just didn’t believe it. The dialogue isn’t convincing. I purchased another book and tried to come back with fresh ears… still no joy. The narrator seems well cast for the genre. Maybe you’ll enjoy it but it’s no JLC.