Reviewed By
Karen Chisholm

Reading this book, the thing that most often came to mind is how long it's been since I've read a classic, taut, engaging and nicely complicated, good old fashioned spy thriller.  THE MIERNIK DOSSIER has a different "construction" to many of the classic spy thrillers of years gone by, but it has all of the elements that you'd hope to find.

Told in a series of intelligence reports, wire taps, surveillance reports, letters and transcripts of conversations, this is a story about 5 people who are friends, of a sort in Geneva; and how they end up in a Cadillac on a road trip from Europe into Africa at the height of a terrorist alert in the deserts of Sudan.  The complication in their friendship is that just every one of them is an agent for a different country - or a suspected agent.  They are all focused on Miernik and what or who he really is.

Because of the style of the narrative - the different reports / documentation - gives you a series of different viewpoints of all the events, the trigger that starts their journey, the trip itself, the smuggling of Miernik's sister out of Communist controlled Poland; the journey into Africa and the activities within Sudan and a terrorist group trying to overthrow the government there.

That narrative is very rapidfire - each of the reports is short, some shorter than others, so the pace of the novel never lets up.  Then there's the fun and games of spying on the spies.  All in all, the style, the subject matter and the story itself made up for a tremendously enjoyable, and mildly addictive spy thriller.


Year of Publication
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An unlikely touring party of five friends embark on a road trip to deliver a brand-new Cadillac from Switzerland to the Sudan.  All of them are attached to the UN in Geneva, and all of them are more than they claim to be.

Among the travellers are Kalash el Khatar, a seven-foot-tall Muslim prince; British intelligence agent Nigel Collins and is beautiful half-English, half-Hungarian girlfriend Ilona Bentley; Paul Christopher; and Tadeusz Miernik, a shy and bumbling Polish scientist who just might be the leader of a terrorist cell that could set the Cold War alight.


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Karen Chisholm
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