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Deighton, Len


(British, 1929– )

After doing his National Service, Deighton won a scholarship to the Royal College of Art and afterwards worked as an illustrator in advertising. His first novel, the outstanding spy thriller The Ipcress File (1962), brought a downbeat and brutal realism to the genre, with its truculent working-class secret agent, played by Michael Caine in the stylish film version. Deighton continued in this vein with Funeral in Berlin (1964) and Billion-Dollar Brain (1966), excellent spy yarns notable for their meticulous background research and terse, sardonic style. Other novels include Bomber (1970), a closely documented account of a bombing raid on Germany, and SS-GB (1978) about a Nazi-occupied Britain. He has returned to the labyrinthine world of cold war spying in three trilogies, the third of which is Faith, Hope, and Charity (1994–6).

Graham Greene, Frederick Forsyth, Robert Harris. See SPY  TH

Delafield, E(dmee) M(onica) (Dashwood) [next] [back] Defoe, Daniel

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