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Once a Spy    by Keith Thomson order for
Once a Spy
by Keith Thomson
Order:  USA  Can
Anchor, 2011 (2010)
Hardcover, Softcover, CD, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Charlie Clark loves the horses. Not to ride, you understand, but to bet on. His winning streak at the moment is non-existent. He believes his creditors (read loan sharks) are after him (which they are).

To add to his worries, his father has been found wandering the streets in pajamas and slippers. As Charlie takes Drummond (Daddy) home, they arrive just in time to escape an explosion that demolishes his house. Drummond saves them both by propelling himself and his son out of a window.

Charlie begins to realize that Drummond is not the man he always thought his father was. As Drummond drifts in and out of Alzheimer's, his past as a spy emerges. And it looks as though that past is catching up with him.

Charlie and Drummond manage to slip away from dangers that none of us will see in our collective lifetimes. They rescue each other time and again, leaving a trail of dead bodies littering the countryside as well as the city. Drummond's lucidity pops up when needed, usually with pithy sayings and advice on how to disarm a bomb or hotwire a car. Who knew? Charlie thinks, 'Who is this man?' who never had a smile on his face or an extra word to say while Charlie was growing up. Praise of his son was never spoken.

In Once a Spy, Charlie steadily discovers the depths of love he has for Drummond, whom he should be abandoning. What a good book. And a fun one.

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