February 05, 1990 12:00 PM

by Bill Granger

A young Soviet sailor defects in Stockholm. At the same time, a Soviet-American diplomatic conference is disrupted when tapes of the event are stolen. The CIA and KGB form an awkward alliance to find the sailor and the tapes. Their efforts lead to a double-digit body count, confusion on two continents and a Mayday call to ace agent Devereaux to solve the mess.

Devereaux—also known as the November Man (this is the 10th novel in the series)—is not thrilled to get the job. He’s fresh from a feverish hunt for a traitor, his love life belongs in a Dear Abby column and he has had it with games of deception. But a spy’s gotta do what a spy’s gotta do. So Devereaux, Eurailpass in hand, sets out to track down the tapes, which contain, among other juicy bits, the secrets of a potentially lethal computer virus.

The Man Who Heard Too Much is the best November Man since There Are No Spies (1986). Granger, a onetime Chicago Tribune columnist, is one of our premiere spy novelists. He writes in simple tabloid style, devoid of the techno-speak that slows most spy novels. His Devereaux is neither George Smiley nor James Bond. He is a man who has seen too many betrayals to be swayed by bureaucrats. His sense of humor is sparse, his sexual exploits distant and his assignments always believable. In short, he is the perfect spy for these less than perfect times. (Warner Books, $18.95)

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