Connoisseurs of the cloak-and-dagger tradition know William F. Buckley Jr as the creator of Blackford Oakes, America's top fictional secret agent and protagonist in ten of the most thrilling spy novels ever written. Blackford Oakes performed his first heroic effort in Saving the Queen, in which Buckley coaxes readers back to the earliest years of ...
Connoisseurs of the cloak-and-dagger tradition know William F. Buckley Jr as the creator of Blackford Oakes, America's top fictional secret agent and protagonist in ten of the most thrilling spy novels ever written. Blackford Oakes performed his first heroic effort in Saving the Queen, in which Buckley coaxes readers back to the earliest years of the Cold War. The year is 1952 and Harry Truman is president of the USA. The beautiful, young Queen Elizabeth has just settled on to the throne of England. The CIA, however, is baffled. Shocking things are going on at Buckingham Palace and vital Western military secrets are falling into Soviet hands. Worst of all, the leak has been traced directly to the Queen's chambers. A recent Yale graduate and ex-combat pilot, the debonair Oakes is selected to penetrate the Royal Circle, win the Queen's confidence and plug the leak. It all leads to an explosive showdown in the skies over London, one that could determine the future of the West.
The only reason this reviewer did not grant a full five stars to this work, is that, despite the usual fine Buckley writing, the witty and convincing dialogue, and the bright engaging charachters, is that I confess an uneasiness with the main 'event' of the book: the agent Blackford Oakes' affair with the Queen of England! Obviously, in an espionage-thriller genre such as any of the Blaxkford oakes novels, one needs to employ a certain amount of the suspension of belief, however, in this case it is just a bit too much of a stretch for the reader to manage (at least this reader!) However, don't let that deter you at having a go at this book, as the work is as fun as the rest of the Blackford novels, and a great read.
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