by Roger Croft

CreateSpace, $14.95, 394 pages

The Wayward Spy by Roger Croft is not your James Bond type of spy thriller. He is more the John Le Carre type writer with a heavy mix of Graham Greene. International intrigue, twisted plots and spy craft all make for an interesting read.

The British Secret Service wants to block an international arms deal being brokered by Ahmed Abdul Kadri. Our hero, Michael Vaux, (“pronounced veau, as in French for veal”) returns to England from a long stint in the US and Canada with the hopes of buying a home and settling in for a well deserved retirement. Michael offers a bid on a house and no matter how much he offers someone always offers a higher price. The need for additional money is what leads him into the waiting arms of the British Secret Service. Eventually the price of the home more than doubles (this reviewer wonders why he didn’t just go look for another home).

In part two, Michael agrees to help the SIS and he soon finds out that the mission is deadly serious. His former college acquaintance, Kadri, poses as a high level emissary in the world of Middle East politics but is in fact an arms dealer. The game changes when Kadri tells Michael that “only when the Arab side is strong enough to pose a real military threat to their existence will the Israelis come to the table and negotiate seriously.” Here is where the story really takes off with the plot moving from Geneva to Morocco and eventually to Egypt. The last two thirds of the book are a very good read. Michael Vaux is a likeable character that readers are pulling for from the start and there is just enough humor to keep this book a fun read.

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