The Last Spymaster
Gayle Lynds

St. Martins Press
Hardcover/400 pages
ISBN: 0-312-30159-6
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"The art of spying is about illusion and truth seen through a fun house mirror."

". . . a provocative and exciting thriller . . ."

The art of spying is about illusion and truth seen through a fun house mirror.



Elaine Cunningham is a hunter for the CIA. She is sent to track Jay Tice, the most notorious double agent the U.S. has ever known. Tice has broken out of federal prison with an accomplice. He is part of the elite; the one man who has turned more spies against their own governments and set them to work for the U.S. than any other spymaster. Cunningham must figure out where Tice is going and why so she can set him up for capture.


On the run, Tice kills his accomplice in the prison breakout and another sent to kill either him or the man now stuffed into the trunk of their getaway car.


Martin Ghranditti, a dinosaur in international military arms sales circles, wants to make sure that Tice returns to prison while brokering his biggest deal ever. Ghranditti plans to leave a legacy that no arms dealer will ever be able to match or beat. And he has a personal reason for wanting Tice to rot in prison, a very personal reason. Helping Ghranditti is Lawrence Litchfield, the man who took Tice's place when Tice was imprisoned for counter-espionage and selling American secrets. Litchfield has to get rid of the evidence that he killed a German sleeper agent's son whose mother was once Tice's lover.


Reactivated agents are sent against their own men and against Tice before he can topple Ghranditti, Litchfield, and his own friends and colleagues. The clock ticks as Elaine Cunningham attempts to lead Tice into a trap while staying clear of Ghranditti's hounds and agents from within the CIA who are intent on killing her.


Like the beginning moments of Three Days of the Condor, Gayle Lynds seems to follow a tried and true formula. But The Last Spymaster quickly veers off onto an entirely different track where nothing and no one are as they seem. Lynds keeps the pressure on, allowing only a few minutes' breathing space before beginning a chase that becomes more and more breathless and convoluted. The Last Spymaster is a provocative and exciting thriller that keeps the pressure on and the surprises coming until the very end.

Reviewer: J. M. Cornwell