Summer Book Club - The Spike
Cold War in the Heat of Summer
We're travelling stateside for the Summer Book Club this year. An American reader recommends the 1980 cold war thriller The Spike by Arnaud de Borchgrave and Robert Moss.
The Spike was described at the time as a cold-war era 'thriller that is several steps ahead of the headlines' where the authors 'have scouted the real underworld of espionage and counter espionage, have listened to real spies and defectors. You sense their expertise on every page.'
Are the western media being manipulated by Soviet agents?The story centres on a journalist who discovers a Soviet plot to take over the world, and how the news media are being manipulated to that end. Resonant? Well, it's the sort of paperback you're happy to throw into a beach bag and leave in the hotel for someone else to read when you've finished with it.
Arnaud de Borchgrave was a naturalised-American journalist, but he was also an aristocrat of Belgian and English parentage who served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War. Arnaud became a correspondent for Newsweek from the 1950s to the 1970s, covering countless conflicts and interviewing many world leaders and heads of state. We may surmise that he knows his onions when it comes to the clandestine geopolitical world of false flags and fifth columns. We'll see if that translates into a decent yarn.
If they had made a film of the novel, I'm guessing it would have a score by Jan Hammer or Harold Faltermeyer.