An Expensive Place to Die
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An unnamed spy - perhaps the same reluctant hero of The Ipcress File - is sent to Paris to deliver a file of nuclear secrets to a French doctor, but soon finds himself sucked into a twilight world of sex, blackmail and hidden motive, where friend and enemy become indistinguishable.
A ‘clinic’ on Paris’s Avenue Foch designed to cater lavishly for multiple perversions, staffed by a group of sexually and intellectually high-powered girls and equipped with devices ranging from an Iron Maiden to psychedelic truth-drugs – that’s the set-up operated by the enigmatic Monsieur Datt.
Naturally, it has a hidden purpose: to compile dossiers of tape and film on influential political clients from East and West. Into this twilight world of decadence and hidden motives come the agents of four world powers.
Are they after Datt’s pornographic blackmail dossiers? Or is their purpose altogether more deadly than a trip to the blue movies…?
This new reissue includes a foreword from the cover designer, Oscar-winning filmmaker Arnold Schwartzman, and a brand new introduction by Len Deighton, which offers a fascinating insight into the writing of the story.
alone.’ ‘Suit yourself,’ said Loiseau. ‘But if he gets much thinner he’ll be climbing out between the bars of that cage.’ I let him have the last word. He paid for the millet and walked between the cliffs of new empty cages, trying the bars and tapping the wooden panels. There were caged birds of all kinds in the market. They were given seed, millet, water and cuttlefish bone for their beaks. Their claws were kept trimmed and they were safe from all birds of prey. But it was the birds in the
are saving it up for something special.’ She swung her hand at me but I moved out of range. She stood for a moment, her face twitching with fury. ‘You ungrateful bastard,’ she said. ‘You’re the first real bastard I’ve ever met.’ I nodded. ‘There’s not many of us around. Ungrateful for what?’ I asked her. ‘Ungrateful for your loyalty? Was that what your motive was: loyalty?’ ‘Perhaps you’re right,’ she admitted quietly. ‘I have no loyalty to anyone. A woman on her own becomes awfully hard.
mixed up with the SDECE and secret departments of the Government, but we know better. I saved you. Twice. Once with Annie, once with Maria.’ ‘Maria saved me,’ said Datt, ‘if anyone did.’ ‘Your precious daughter,’ said Jean-Paul, ‘is good for only one thing.’ He smiled. ‘And what’s more she hates you. She said you were foul and evil; that’s how much she wanted to save you before I persuaded her to help.’ ‘Did you say that about me?’ Datt asked Maria, and even as she was about to reply he held
lit his pipe. ‘Damned good to see you,’ he said. His eyes were bright and his mouth firm, like a brush salesman sizing up a prospect. ‘You’ve been making a fool of me,’ I complained. ‘Come, come, trim your yards, old boy. No question of that. No question of that at all. Thought you did well actually. Loiseau said you put in quite a plea for me.’ He smiled again briefly, caught sight of himself in the mirror over the wash-basin and pushed his disarranged hair into place. ‘I told him you didn’t
life regretting it. You will recall all your work and records and you will relive this moment a million times. Of course you must return with me. Loiseau is a human being and human activities are your speciality. You have friends in high places, it will be hard to convict you of any crime on the statute book …’ ‘That is very little protection in France.’ ‘Ostend is in Belgium,’ I said. ‘Belgium doesn’t recognize Peking, Loiseau operates there only on sufferance. Loiseau too will be amenable to