The Human Factor

If this book is indicative of Greene’s “talent” then I’ll pass on perusing the remainder of his oeuvre. Published in 1978, we have the Cold War backdrop supporting a double agent London spy whose interest is in helping the anti-apartheid interests of South Africa. Maurice Castle has spent the last 7 years in London with his wife & son (both black), funneling secrets to the Communists in order to help (in his mind) his wife’s people. There’s quite a bit of whisky (J&B) drinking, mustache stroking, unanswered ringing phone call codes. Castle’s helpmate, Davis, is suspected as the leaker, and eliminated with some peanut toxins that masquerade as cirrhosis. A lot of the higher-ups in the hush hush secret office seem tired, near retirement, ready to give it all up. Maurice ends up with his feet up, relaxing in Moscow, waiting for the day his wife & son can join him. Boring.