He’s a blue-collar James Bond, a cockney gourmet, a reluctant spy little regarded by his bosses, who nevertheless becomes the central figure in a convoluted plot involving the recovery of a crucial file. Michael Caine is Harry Palmer, Len Deighton’s bespectacled (and in the novel’s nameless) secret agent, and the setting is not so swinging London in the 1960s. There’s an abundance of suspense, a lot of humour and Caine’s star quality shines through… The hands cooking the omelette in Palmer’s flat aren’t Caine’s, though – they’re Deighton’s.
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