Books: Eschatology & Espionage

TREMOR OF INTENT by Anthony Burgess. 239 pages. Norton. $4.95.

Denis Hillier, a middle-aged spy looking forward to retirement, embarks on his last mission: to kidnap a turncoat British scientist named Roper, who is cooking rocket fuel for Russia. Adventures both sexual and gastronomic occur en route, for Hillier is a gluttonous satyr. Men die bloodily, some of them propelled into the hereafter by Hillier himself. The mission fails, not for want of Hillier's trying, but because his quarry refuses to go back.

Len Deighton and John le Carre have written such spy stories, and...

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