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The spy is one of the great icons of the twentieth century. Born in an era of imperial decline, the spy in fiction has reflected the shifting currents of national and international politics for a century and more. This anthology offers a panorama of the best spy stories, which have forever fixed the concept of espionage in the popular imagination. In tales of political intrigue, wartime heroism, and peacetime scheming, we see the spy at work and at rest, sometimes the romantic saviour of a nation's secret, more often an embittered loner, wracked with disillusion and uncertainty. The great game becomes a grubby business in which the enemy may, indeed, be one of us. These stories by writers of the calibre of A. E. W. Mason, John Buchan, Frank O'Connor, Ian Fleming, Len Deighton, Michael Gilbert and Graham Greene, range from traditional thrillers with the spy as hero to explorations of the metaphoric potential of espionage and the moral, political and psychological issues that such an activity brings into question. Together with Michael Cox's fascinating introduction, they form a wonderfully entertaining literary insight into a world of intrigue and deception.;This book is intended for readers of spy fiction, detective stories, thrillers, anthologies of short stories.