three-and-half-stars
Bookmarks Issue: 
14-Jan-Feb-2005
user_rating: 
0

A-GoodNewsBadNewsIn this quirky, literate book, spies and friends Charlie Millar and George Shaw both work for the British Secret Service and receive orders to kill each other. Ending up on the run together, the two embark on an adventure of international espionage that takes them from London to Canada as they uncover valuable—and deadly—Agency secrets. Pitting their wits against their old bosses, George and Charlie run for their lives. But, despite their common plight, how much can they really trust each other?
Dutton Books. 320 pages. $23.95.
ISBN: 0525947949

Chicago Tribune 4 of 5 Stars
"Good News, Bad News could almost have been written by Samuel Beckett, so knifelike are its dark images and scenes of absurd bafflement. … It’s a dazzling performance, full of surprises, and the only doubt it leaves is what will this most promising author ever do for an encore." Dick Adler

Entertainment Weekly 4 of 5 Stars
"With its excruciating tension and cynical humor. … Good News, Bad News pays a fitting postmodern tribute to le Carré." David Koeppel

Santa Fe New Mexican 3 of 5 Stars
"The good news, in the best spy novels, is that the author makes you think he must have been a spy himself to know all this fascinating detail. The bad news is that, in this book, the inside information is superficial and skips blithely over an important plot point." Robert Mayer

Critical Summary

Award-winning writer and creator of the A&E spy drama MI-5, Wolstencroft offers a smart, witty homage to past spy masters like John le Carré. With his intelligent, amusing style, Wolstencroft adds some tantalizing twists to the genre. His two main characters speak in pitch-perfect dialogue and leave readers in suspense about their motives. A few ragged edges and plot inconsistencies may put off true espionage obsessives. But, overall, Good News, Bad News is an impressive first novel.