Spectres in the Smoke


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Colonel Walsingham of the MI5 has the goods on a lot of "iffy" characters who can serve as undercover operatives; one of them is a cat burglar and jewel thief by the name RATING: Colonel Walsingham of the MI5 has the goods on a lot of "iffy" characters who can serve as undercover operatives; one of them is a cat burglar and jewel thief by the name of Jethro. In addition to his cat burgling skills, Jethro has the ability to assume different identities, which is a handy when trying to get inside an operation.

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Jethro alternates between "creeping" breaking into houses and museums to steal valuable goods for himself or doing jobs for Walsingham. He doesn't have any choice but to do what Walsingham wants; there is rather a thick file on Jethro that, if revealed, could put him away for quite a long time. During one of his creeps, Jethro stumbles across a very strange building filled with Fascist symbolism and strange journals depicting some of the hoi polloi in very compromising positions. He becomes entangled with another group besides MI5 that want the very same thing: From that point on, the book follows Jethro in the creep of all creeps in which he assumes the role of a Canadian who, together with a Special Branch agent by the name of Simon Bosanquet, infiltrate the highest levels of a secret society.

The majority of the book focuses on the players in this game and how Jethro and Bosanquet try to bring down this destructive organization. That sounds like a good premise, but the narrative spent an inordinate amount of time discussing politics and strategies which dragged the plot to a halt.

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Broadbent certainly did a great job of depicting an England in turmoil after the war, and the character of Jethro was likeable but unfortunately misplaced in a game of intrigue that was too big for him. I wished that Broadbent had concentrated on Jethro's typical creeps with the exciting tales of how a cat burglar operates, instead of enmeshing him in a huge potpourri of political issues. The book was readable and had its moments of enjoyment, but essentially the big creep brought it to a crawl. Jan 04, Mk rated it really liked it. I just loved this book, although not as much as its predecessor "The Smoke".

It's told by a professional jewel thief, who's hauled in by the police to assist on matters of state. He has no special Bondian gifts. He's just a talented jewel thief, and the way he has of telling the story from his point of view is wonderful, as are the secondary characters. Feb 17, Laurie rated it it was amazing. My only regret is that these are set too late to introduce Mary Russell to Tony's cat burglar, Jethro. Jun 19, Jessica rated it liked it Shelves: The scope of the events in this one is a little bit too broad to fit, but the sneaky derring-do remains a delight.


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The main protagonist, Jethro, is an East End cat burglar who salts his narrative with Cockney rhyming slang—adroitly done and far less irritating than I expected the glossary in the back of the book helps. However, it was also at this point that I began to lose the narrative thread and skipped to th The setting is in London, with WWII recently won. However, it was also at this point that I began to lose the narrative thread and skipped to the end. Apr 30, Janet rated it liked it Shelves: Is it the London setting?

All of the above, I think. Jul 05, Robert Scott rated it really liked it Shelves: He does his creep into a mansion, then into the headquarters of NOB the New Order of Britain a Fascist group of peers with their sycophants.


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Then in disguise to a country party where a young lady has been lured on the pretext of an acting role. Very heavy info about the Duke of Windsor and other Brits.

Spectres in the Smoke (Jethro Mysteries, #2) by Tony Broadbent

Nov 18, Mark Pearce rated it really liked it. The new version by MP Publishing is better proofed and edited. Dec 07, Jose rated it really liked it.

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I like the aspects of this book because the author illustrates how "Jethro" the cat burglar attempts to prevent a plot to undermine britain's new labor government. Mico Mrkaic rated it liked it Dec 27, Harvey rated it liked it Jul 29, Alicia Anderson rated it really liked it Sep 20, Nicola rated it liked it Nov 26, Joe Broadbent rated it it was amazing Jul 03, Jennifer rated it liked it Aug 28, Caleb rated it really liked it Oct 21, Lulus rated it it was amazing Feb 17, Janet Glanvillle rated it liked it Oct 26, Loughlin rated it liked it Jun 30, Kevin rated it liked it Mar 09, Susan Shea rated it really liked it Aug 04, Martin rated it it was amazing Apr 30, Alyson rated it liked it Jul 13, Fshull rated it really liked it Jul 25, David H rated it really liked it May 06, Ron rated it really liked it Jul 19, Things get even deadlier when he stumbles across a royal cover-up and then uncovers a plot to topple Clement Attlee's Labour Government.

And always ever present, looming in the background, are the twin spectres of the growing communist menace and a rebirth of fascism. There are even rumors the Americans are poking their noses deep into things and that a mysterious OSS agent is roaming around London with his eagle eye set on someone who looks a lot like Jethro. However, Walsingham's behind-the-scenes string pulling also has unintended consequences in London's gangland that result in Jethro finding himself up to his neck again in the never-ending battle between two of London's most notorious gang bosses, Darby Messima and Jack Spot.

And all this is just a precursor to Jethro having to do a very serious bit of burglary at a certain very grand country house, the success or failure of which could mean England saved from going to the dogs or spell curtains for Jethro.

Spectres in the Smoke

In Spectres in the Smoke, Tony Broadbent has created a dark, shadowy vision of post-war London and spun a truly enthralling tale. Nails the period better than I have seen it done before. The Accident Chris Pavone. Used availability for Tony Broadbent's Spectres in the Smoke.

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