The Whitehall Mandarin

The Whitehall Mandarin British intelligence has a mole deep in the KGB When that mole reports on a Soviet spy ring in London MI gets worried And when MI gets worried they call Catesby He is sent on a mole hunt that lead

  • Title: The Whitehall Mandarin
  • Author: Edward Wilson
  • ISBN: 9781909807532
  • Page: 394
  • Format: Hardcover
  • British intelligence has a mole deep in the KGB When that mole reports on a Soviet spy ring in London, MI6 gets worried And when MI6 gets worried, they call Catesby He is sent on a mole hunt that leads him through the seamy sex scandals of 1960s London to the jungles of Vietnam The tectonic plates of world power are shifting Thrilling and deeply intelligent, The WhitBritish intelligence has a mole deep in the KGB When that mole reports on a Soviet spy ring in London, MI6 gets worried And when MI6 gets worried, they call Catesby He is sent on a mole hunt that leads him through the seamy sex scandals of 1960s London to the jungles of Vietnam The tectonic plates of world power are shifting Thrilling and deeply intelligent, The Whitehall Mandarin reveals the US government s most deeply held secret its investigation into the People s Republic of China, and its concurrent rise to world domination It s a secret that Catesby may not live to share.

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      Published :2019-010-06T23:46:28+00:00

    2 thoughts on “The Whitehall Mandarin

    1. Edward Wilson served in Vietnam as an officer in the 5th Special Forces His decorations include the Bronze Star and Army Commendation Medal for Valor Soon after leaving the army, Wilson became a permanent expatriate in the UK in 1974 He formally lost US nationality in 1986 Edward Wilson is a British citizen, but has also lived and worked in Germany and France.

    2. For an old Cold War spy (novel-reading) warrior like me, I really can’t resist books that come with recommendations like, “The thinking person’s John le Carré” and especially when it is described as an “old fashioned spy story.” Drawback is, many of the ones I go through with that their outside, can’t deliver on the inside.With 'The Whitehall Mandarin’, Edward Wilson delivers. It’s a dramatic step up from the bright shiny, trashy, 'me-too’ thrillers one sees so (too) many of [...]

    3. I finished reading "THE WHITEHALL MANDARIN" this afternoon. What can I say? The ending was totally unexpected and yet, strangely appropriate given the deceit and treachery carried out by some of the main characters in the novel. One of whom was from the upper-crust of British society and occupied a very powerful position in the British government of that time. (We are talking about the mid to late 1960s.) Again the author Edward Wilson mixed in both fiction and historical facts so well that it w [...]

    4. A deeply and in fact frustratingly uneven book. Catesby is a British spy charged with defusing the myriad of spy rings operating in the UK. The author painstakingly recreates the 50s and 60s and even conjures up a plausible scenario in which all the paranoia can percolate nicely. Even better it's all well written with a couple of memorable scenes. Unfortunately all this plausibility gets sacrificed in one of the least realistic plot twists to grace a thriller for a very long time. A shame as cou [...]

    5. It's not that there were unexpected plot twists and turns--though there were. It's that Wilson throws the kitchen sink into this book. The overall story is terrific, yet there were so many pointless asides that didn't even rise to the level of a "McGuffin". Put differently, this book has sufficient plot for two books, which obscured what was a great storyline. That being said, the book gets better and better, and the last 50 pages fly by.

    6. The Whitehall Mandarin – A Classic Spy NovelThe Whitehall Mandarin by Edward Wilson is a brilliant old fashioned sprinkled with historical facts, spy story. This is a classic spy story in the mould of John Le Carre rather than Ian Fleming, multi layered rather than flash bang wallop. William Catesby the hero of our story may not be James Bond but he is as efficient as Bond’s Walther PPK.William Catesby has risen from being a working class boy through Cambridge to becoming a ranking member of [...]

    7. Another excellent spy story from Edward Wilson, which has his "hero" William Catesby tracking down the lies behind what turns out to be a highly unusual mystery - a mystery which also involves the bizarre sex practices of the British Establishment, touching on the Profumo Affair which shocked the British public in the early 1960's. One of the main characters is also involved in the honey traps set up be a blackmailing Soviet agent whose real masters are in Peking (Beijing). Catesby's investigati [...]

    8. Review from Declan MaddenWilliam Catesby , SIS agent ,operates in a world where no one or nothing is as it seems to be . Tasked with discovering the source of leaked classified files concerning nuclear weaponry , he finds himself questioning who exactly he should be investigating .Lady Penelope Somers is the first female to head up the Ministry of Defence . Wealthy and powerful but also with something to hide ,it falls to Catesby to find the secret and bury it .The Whitehall Mandarin is set in t [...]

    9. I enjoyed this book but not as much as I expected to. The story takes the spy hero Catesby through various well-researched part fiction/part fact Cold War and Vietnamese war episodes. There is some very interesting speculation about China's rapid development of their nuclear bomb. The book is well-written and part of a series which I would be happy to revisit. The problem I think is that the book is very episodic and lacks a compelling and persuasively cohesive overall plot.

    10. For me Wilson is as good as Le Carre. His plots are sophisticated and convoluted, but are written with a clarity that powers you through to the end. He also does characterisation that is on a par with Le Carre. Eagerly waiting for his next engrossing endeavour.

    11. Just too long and complicatedWhat started as a stimulating series of historical spy stories has deteriorated into this rambling shaggy dog story. The writing is still good enough but the plot meanders on and the final "pay off" is simply silly. Somewhere in this mess is a good story struggling to get out but the final product tries the reader's patience.

    12. Critically acclaimed author Edward Wilson returns with another seething spy thriller to add to his repertoire. A teeming broth of secrets, sex and scandals, the Whitehall mandarin is sure to be a hit with mystery fanatics and long standing Wilson fans.Wilson specialises in spy fiction, with a strong focus on the Cold War, and there is no doubt he is a master of his subject. His novels blend seamlessly between fact and fiction, and The Whitehall Mandarin is no exception. The books alludes to a ph [...]

    13. This series has improved with each successive book. I wasn’t a huge fan of the first (A River in May). And after really enjoying The Envoy, The Darkling Spy, and The Midnight Swimmer, I was convinced that the first book had no connection with the others. That was until the protagonist of A River in May, Francis Lopez, showed up in The Whitehall Mandarin.What I likedWilson’s painstaking attention to detail is extraordinary. Post-war London, Vietnam, Havana, Moscow, and the southeastern United [...]

    14. The Whitehall Mandarin By Edward WilsonArcadia Books978-1-909807-53-2Submitted by the publisher$29.95, 362 pgs"The enemy of my enemy is my friend."You know how you can tell you’re not reading just any old spy novel? There’s a bibliography included at the end.The Whitehall Mandarin by Edward Wilson is a historical novel of espionage set in London when the Cold War was never colder. The story begins in 1957 in St. James Park where British spy William Catesby, an agent with SIS, is photographin [...]

    15. The Whitehall Mandarin, Edward Wilson’s complex and sophisticated novel of Cold War espionage, is the third of a trilogy that began with the The Envoy. That first book centered around the life of one Kit Fournier, an American intelligence officer who rose to become head of the CIA mission in London in the fateful year of 1956. The Darkling Spy followed, featuring Britain’s Will Catesby of MI6 and his boss, Henry Bone. In The Whitehall Mandarin, Fournier’s story lies in the past and the foc [...]

    16. Review also posted on my blog reviewedthebook/2014With each new espionage novel by Edward Wilson, I kind of expect it not to get any better (they’re pretty stunning as it is) but with The Whitehall Mandarin, Wilson has excelled himself again. The plot was spectacular from start to finish, the fantastic character of Catesby returned (which is always a plus) and the suspense and mystery was at a complete high. The Whitehall Mandarin is a great spy thriller.This was probably the busiest of Wilson [...]

    17. Like The Envoy, this novel focuses on geopolitics, returning to some familiar ground with the development of the H-Bomb, but this time in the unlikely possession of Maoist China. The protagonist is the familiar - and conflicted - outsider William Catesby of the Secret Intelligence Service, his upper-crust boss Edward Bone, and other figures from Wilson's novels also pop in and out. Again, Wilson's world is populated with fictionalised real personalities and captures both the class struggle in Br [...]

    18. I must admit that, when I approached this book, I suspended my expectations; I have read most of Edward Wilson's novels and I have learnt that he has dramatic highs and lows (among the former The Envoy and The Midnight Swimmer, The Darkling Spy was a terrible down and to some extent A Very British Ending also), so I was wondering which side this would fallWell, it fell on the low side.The first third of the story is a complete waste of time, a huge, lengthy digression describing in painstaking d [...]

    19. The start of this spy novel is pure pleasure - there's intrigue, there's grey, drizzly post-war London, there's covert espionage, KGB double, even triple agents, and an unknown mole in MI6. But, about a third way through, this Cold War thriller stops being a novel and becomes a series of what I can only describe as Whitehall and CIA reports on the security situation in the world. The point of view wanders from Mao, Kennedy, to the hero of the novel, MI6 spy Catesby, and many characters besides. [...]

    20. The Whitehall Mandarin is the fourth in Edward Wilson’s spy novels set in the 1950s/60s. The premise is an intriguing one – how did the Chinese manage to catch up in the nuclear arms race so quickly? Wilson’s answer weaves an expansive plot that criss-crosses the UK, United States, Cuba, Russia and Vietnam - touching on events such as the Bay of Pigs, the Profumo affair and British upper class sex scandals, the start of the Vietnam war - with William Catesby seeking to solve the puzzle and [...]

    21. This is a sprawling spy story featuring SIS operative William Catesby, covering 15 years during the height of the Cold War. I enjoyed the first half of the story which was concerned with the adventures of Jeffers Cauldwell, a most interesting character who changes sides so often it is hard to keep track. After that the story zips along skipping years at a time. Catesby journeys to many places and slowly gets to the bottom of an incredible plot. I won't spoil the ending but it is truly absurd and [...]

    22. I received a copy of this book from Arcadia Books in exchange for an honest review. This for me was a highly sophisticated read, Wilson’s writing style and suspense, kept me intrigued throughout. The book follow’s William Catesby a British spy, throughout the cold war period. British intelligence believe that their secrets are being leaked to Russia but all is not as it seems. At times the many different characters and back stories that were introduced did slightly confuse me but after a qui [...]

    23. Quite a plausible account and answer of some of the big questions bedevilling the world until now, and a scathing indictment of the Americans' propensity to equip their own potential future adversaries for the short-term objective of dealing with the current rival - a practice that has brought before the present-day world the biggest threat it faces now. That said, seems a rather abrupt ending to the series, with the cynical Catesby and his devious boss, Bone, though the preceding installment "T [...]

    24. Another fine installment on the Catesby series by Edward Wilson. This book is somewhat different, far more of a psychological novel than a typical procedural thriller. True, there are stolen national security secrets here, but they're almost beside the point of the messy complex lives of Catesby's world. This book is more about personal betrayal and manipulation. As always, Wilson's books feature idiosyncratic, and thus believable, characters, who act from a mixture of motives, and not always wi [...]

    25. I very rarely give up on novels but I am unlikely to get to the end of this one. The plot is convoluted and deliberately confusing - which is ok, it is after all a spy novel. But the prose is tedious and flat, consisting frequently of simple sentences which narrate what is happening and telling the reader what the characters are thinking. For a novel set in the late 50s/early 60s it sounds too much like a badly-written modern American text. People comparing it to Le Carre should return to the Sm [...]

    26. A spy thriller which favours conversations and ambiguity rather than action and explosions - much more my style. A lot of intriguing stories (mostly through conversations) but I found the basic premise - and the final reveal - rather implausible. The 60s atmosphere of sex scandals and Cold War paranoia was well-captured, but there is something slightly naive about the Western perception of Soviet and Chinese intelligence services.

    27. Wilson amps up the espionage in this third book of his Cold war series featuring ex-SOE agent William Catesby. My favorite part of the novel starts in the second half when Catesby is sent to Viet Nam, 1967, in order to track down and question someone of extreme importance. The writing in this particular section is very good, and has a "Heart of Darkness" feel. There is a very surprising link/character to his earlier book "A River in May".

    28. Wilson deserves the praise he has received for melding real headlines with his own plot. However in some places this forces the book into a series of episodes timed to capture the historical story-line. He has also enjoyed using his time in Vietnam to colour the story and it very much deserves its current 3.7/5.

    29. Involved, thoughtful and with brilliant dialogue and sense of place. The Cold War and its paranoia and conspiracies and the dirty work of all the agencies active. Wilson's style takes some getting used to and at times it may plod a little but on the whole a serious and entertaining read with a surprising ending.

    30. A huge disappointment. Opening third is first class with a potential great historical spying tale of double and triple crosses wedded to reality, but then sinks into, successively, James Bond parody territory and then variations on Apocalypse Now, only for the final revelations to prove so melodramatic they are farcical Oh dear.

    31. Some reviews mentioned Le Carré, but this is clearly in Len Deighton terrioritory. It lacks Le Carre's focus on character, but has Deighton's crisp dialogue and clever plotting. The plotting goes a little far perhaps, but it is really great fun and certainly never gets bogged down. A breeze of a read.

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