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02May

Why Len Deighton’s spy stories are set to thrill a new generation

The author’s son explains why the working-class heroes of his father’s soon-to-be-reissued novels will resonate today

Spies, treachery and dangerous secrets, all liberally seasoned with dry wit: these were the moreish ingredients that made international hits of Len Deighton’s stylish 1960s thrillers, set in the grey world of post-colonial, postwar British intelligence. His sardonic working-class hero, played on screen by Michael Caine in the The Ipcress File, Funeral in Berlin and Billion Dollar Brain, set the template for a succession of deadpan, worldly-wise leading men.

Now a fresh generation have the chance to sample Deighton’s wares as Penguin republishes many of his books, starting this month with those three, early bestselling titles.

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