|Adrian Bailey's illustration for the Game, Set and Match series. Can you recognise each character?|
"I only recently discovered Len Deighton's books, and rather late in life. I really like the Samson series and I have just read all ten books (including Winter). I was particularly intrigued by the semi-tragic Fiona character.
Some questions to consider:
- Fiona agreed to stay one or two years in East Berlin, yet she stayed for four years? I did not read any satisfactory explanations for this extended stay beyond what was originally planned. What extended her stay in Berlin?
- Why were Stinnes and Kennedy in Fiona's car when she was being extracted? I can't figure it out!
- Fiona in her suicide note wrote "I soon guessed that Kennedy was spying on me", yet the affair lasted nine years. I cannot wrap my mind around that. How soon was it? According to the book she officially found out he was spying on her while in East Berlin (six years after the affair started). Did she continue the affair to hide her secret, or was she addicted to sex with Kennedy, or both?
- Subsequently, she dismisses Kennedy as one who loved Karl Marx and would betray her without hesitation. It's very hard to digest because she must have loved him passionately (even though she admitted it reluctantly): "Just speaking to him on the phone sent shivers down my spine" and "having a drink with Harry near his office provided me with deep satisfaction"
- Just a simple post card form Harry, via the hair saloon, sent her into a state of euphoria. There had to be a lot more there then what meets the eye in this relationship. Deighton rather confused me on this! Does anyone have any explanations to set me straight?
- Fiona never confessed her infidelity to Bernard, nor did she confess a mea culpa for abandoning him and the children for the service to the Queen and London central. Was this one of the character defects that Bret talked about?
- Did Fiona know, or was she told that her sister died in order to keep her extraction from East Berlin a secret? I never read anything that would indicate she knew the reason for Tessa's death! In this regard, why did Fiona want Bernard to stop investigating the death of Tessa, when she was originally so passionate to solve the issue? Did London central tell her the story and and ask her to stop for the good of the service. Yet another betrayal of Bernard by all?
- The author originally described in detail how Werner briefed, paid and killed Thurkettle, yet the SIS group, including Bernard, concluded that Petyman did it. I don't understand the logic. Did the author forget what he wrote in the previous book? Not likely. So what is the answer?
- A similar occurrence happened when Fiona's extraction was described for the first time. In that one Fiona was in shock and did not recognize her sister lying in the mud, nor the other persons killed. She had to be told by Bret that her sister died there. Yet in the subsequent description of the event she readily recognizes her dead sister on the ground, as well as Kennedy, whom she admitted she loved. This actually is the first time I heard it from her own mouth. What gives?
The other two characters I found interesting and perplexing were Bret and Gloria. While Bret created a lot of the problems and heart-aches suffered by Bernard, he acted like a human being at the end. Even though Bret must have been in love with Gloria some months before asking her to marry him, why did he sent her to meet Bernard in Sweden, when he brought in Kozinski, and then bring him back to London in a private jet with her?
I enjoyed the books tremendously. However, these are the issues that baffle me and any explanations or clarifications would be appreciated.