After beating my brains about with the Cryptonomicon, I was happy to read something which required a little less effort, and the latest in Andrew Martin’s Jim Stringer series was just the thing.
After being wounded in the leg during the events of The Somme Stations, Jim’s been promoted to Captain, and after a bit of officer training, finds himself summoned to London, where he’s given a special mission. Yes, Jim is now working for military intelligence, and he has to find out what, apart from heat and flies, is going on in Baghdad.
It all starts to unravel when he finds his contact has been murdered. Much of the usual fun and games follows, with trains into the desert, a quite impressively egotistical film maker, and the usual levels of misdirection and confusion.
This time round, when the final confrontation happens, Jim’s even more confused than normal, thanks to a slight case of malaria, but somehow survives to make it back to York. And it’s back at York that he finally learns what’s really been going on.
As always, Jim is aided by his wife Lydia, and a nice collection of guest characters. Good fun, like the rest of the series – and if you haven’t read the rest, you won’t be too confused if you start here.