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Bernard Samson Books In Order

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Publication Order of Bernard Samson Books

Bernard Samson is the lead character in a series of books by Len Deighton. The character made his first appearance in Berlin Game. The first trilogy was adapted into a television series in the late 1980s starring Ian Holm as the title character. The series has many fans, including Quentin Tarantino who once expressed interest in adapting the Game, Set, Match trilogy as a three-hour film.

Len Deighton is a British author of spy novels as well as history and military history books. He served his national service in the Royal Air Force and then went on to art school. He graduated from the Royal College of Art in 1955 before taking a job as a book and magazine illustrator. One of his first big jobs was designing the cover for the UK edition of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road. He worked on his own writing as well and had his first novel, The IPCRESS File, published in 1962.

He wrote multiple books over the years, but didn’t start the Berlin Samson series until 1983 when he released Berlin Game. He would write three trilogies featuring the character. He also wrote Winter, a book which adds some historical background to the series.

Samson was the son of a British SIS operative who worked undercover in Germany during World War II. His father became head of the Berlin Field Unit after the war and Brian grew up in Germany. He got a German education and spoke the language fluently, but paid the price for his background. He was considered to be an Englishmen by the Germans he grew up with and as a German by the British.

Berlin Game is the first book in the Bernard Samson series. The story begins with a valuable agent behind the Iron Curtain signaling that he wants out. Bernard Samson is a former field agent, but he has been anchored to a London desk of late. It will be up to him to get the rescue done. It won’t be easy though as Samson is confronted with evidence that there may be a traitor within the SIS. Samson will now have to sift through his colleagues and the layers of lies that trail from London to Berlin in order to find out who it is.

The series continues with Mexico Set. Samson finds himself in the middle of the East-West battlefield of Mexico City where he is trying to entice a disaffected KGV agent to defect. The price of his freedom will have a hefty price: blood and it’s on Samson’s hands. He finds himself torn between conflicting loyalties and stuck in a world of double-dealing that you only find with spies. There is no one that Samson can trust and he doesn’t even know where his enemies are. So, how can he fight them?

The first trilogy concludes with London Match. Samson has enticed a Soviet agent to defect London. This should be time to celebrate for the long-suffering agent, but it turns out to be the start of something even bigger. He’ll find that there is a level of treachery within his own Service and he’ll set out to find out who, and no one is free from suspicion. He’ll have to attempt a desperate gamble in order to discover who is really pulling the strings behind this operation.

Winter is a prelude to the Game, Set, Match trilogy. The story follows two brothers, Peter and Paul Winter, who came of age during World War II. As Hitler’s power spreads through Germany and violence is abound, the brothers find themselves driven apart by their morals and ambitions. This story features a lot of real history and tells the story of the rise of the Third Reich at that time.

Deighton followed the first trilogy up with the Hook, Line and Sinker series. The first book in the series is Spy Hook. The book features an older and wiser Samson who is sent on a mission to America. A lot of things haven’t gone well for Samson over the years as friendships have waned and colleagues don’t share with him like they once did. Samson decides to pursue an investigation despite all of the warnings which will send him to California where he’ll meet with the biggest surprise of his life.

Spy Line is the second book in the Hook, Line and Sinker series. It takes place after the events of the first book as Samson is being hunted as a traitor. He’s had to abandon his life and his job, and head into hiding in Berlin. He doesn’t get what is happening or what he has done, and nothing is making sense. Then he finds out that the Secret Service knows exactly where he is and they’ve never taken him off the payroll. They want to return his good name and his freedom, but there are strings attached to that deal. The kind of strings that tighten around his neck.

The second trilogy finishes up with Spy Sinker. This book is much different than other books in the series as it backtracks through the events of the first five books through the eyes of the other characters in the series. It presents a different spin on events. One of those characters is double agent Fiona Samson who is on a mission to undermine the German economy. However, she feels trapped between patriotism and her love of her family.

Faith is the first book of the final Bernard Samson trilogy. The story takes place in 1987 as the Cold War reaches its climax. Bernard Samson finally has his wife back in his life, but things aren’t all okay after Bernard has an affair with a coworker half his age. That isn’t the only bit of his troubles as he has orders to head to Magdeburg where he finds himself in a shootout with Stasi agents.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Bernard Samson

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