Cover image for Dead men living
Title:
Dead men living
Author:
Freemantle, Brian.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, 2000.
Physical Description:
345 pages ; 22 cm
Language:
English
Genre:
ISBN:
9780312243791
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

In Siberia, a sudden thaw uncovers two murder victims that had been frozen for 50 years, as well as a host of disturbing questions. Since each is dressed in the uniform of a WW II Allied officer, Russian authorities decide to invite agents from England and the United States to join in a collaborative effort to discover the truth behind the murders. Charlie Muffin, the British operative, is having enough problems without traveling to the hell-on-earth that is Siberia, but once there he begins to suspect that this might be just his sort of case. His phones are tapped, his own government seems to be against him, and his fellow agents are as uncooperative as the corpses they're investigating. When Charlie finally identifies the bodies, he finds he's unearthed a secret that all three governments will kill to put back in the ground -- even if he has to go there with it.Dead Men Living is the much-anticipated next thriller in Brian Freemantle's acclaimed Charlie Muffin series, and as his fans and critics will agree, it's his best yet.


Author Notes

Brian Freemantle was born in Southampton, England on June 10, 1936. He became a journalist and worked for four national newspapers. While the foreign editor of the Daily Mail in 1975, he organized the rescue mission to airlift 100 orphans from Saigon days before it fell to the communist north. Soon afterward, he left journalism to become a full-time author. He has written over 80 books including the Charlie Muffin series, the Cowley and Danilov Thriller series, and 5 non-fiction books. He has also written under the pen names of John Maxwell, Jonathan Evans, Jack Winchester and Harry Asher.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

British agent Charlie Muffin is surviving just fine in the new Russia, living with his lover, former KGB agent Natalia, and juggling his expense account to cover a snazzy Moscow apartment. Then three bodies turn up after a Siberian thaw, and the Cold War is jump-started. Two of the bodies--one American, one English--are wearing remarkably well-preserved World War II uniforms. How did two soldiers from the West get themselves killed in Siberia in 1945? British, American, and Russian intelligence agencies all want answers . . . or do they? Sorting through multiple layers of deception, Muffin meets resistance from all sides, especially his own. Freemantle expertly plays Muffin's bullheaded determination to sort it all out against his superiors' bureaucratic compulsion to obfuscate. Complicating the issue, though, is Muffin's relationship with Natalia, which could be threatened by exposing the truth. Freemantle, like le Carre, knows that the conflict at the heart of espionage fiction is not West versus East but individual versus organization. Charlie Muffin carries the individual's colors as well as any character in the genre. --Bill Ott


Publisher's Weekly Review

Starring returning hero Charlie Muffin and tackling an international WWII coverup when three perfectly preserved corpses emerge from a thaw in the Siberian tundra, Freemantle's gem of a spy thriller combines old-style espionage with millennial zing. The bodies appear to be those of a British and a U.S. officer and a civilian Russian woman. Master spy Charlie, who's been stationed in Moscow since his old agency in the U.K. morphed into "a quasi British FBI" after the Cold War ended, is called up to investigate. Domestic drama heats up since Charlie lives, in secret, with his long-time lover Natalia NikandrovaÄa former KGB agent now in a high but vulnerable post in the Russian "quasi FBI"Äand their daughter, Sasha. The American FBI brings in its own investigator, Miriam Bell, who joins Natalia and Charlie in Freemantle's (No Time for Heroes) brilliantly contorted plot; all three agents have been set up by bosses with much to hide, and much to gain from their sleuths' failures. The corpses are linked to Nazi art thefts, and Charlie unearths the coverup when he finds fake graves for the victims and purged records from the Brit's file. He masterminds the survival strategies for the trio of agents, using the media and old spy tricks to toy with the puppet masters. Miriam outdoes Bond in sexual feats and mental sparring, bringing gender equity to the genre, while Charlie stays one step ahead of his superiors, bosses and enemies. Siberia's harsh climate and Moscow's volatile politics are in clear focus as slippery, upper-class Brits and powerful Americans toss monkey wrenches into Charlie's plans. This engrossing thriller perfectly sets up further Moscow adventures with Charlie and Natalia. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Maverick British agent Charlie Muffin, hero of Freemantle's popular series, is living in Moscow under difficult circumstances when he is asked to solve a case that appears impossible. The frozen corpses of two men dressed in World War II uniformsDone American, one BritishDand a woman who turns out to be Russian have been uncovered by a freak thaw in the far reaches of Siberia. Who were the Western agents, and what were they doing deep in forbidden territory? In an atmosphere of paranoia and deception reminiscent of the Cold War and with his own life at risk, Muffin must ferret out a conspiracy that all three countriesDthe United States, Britain, and RussiaDstill want to conceal 54 years after the end of the war. Fans of the "Charlie Muffin" series and readers who don't mind the tendency of Freemantle (Bomb Grade) to withhold information already deduced by Muffin will enjoy the piecing together of this intricate and intriguing puzzle. Recommended for all public librariesDRonnie H. Terpening, Univ. of Arizona, Tucson (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Dead Men Living 1 The El Niño --Christ's Child--gets its name from always beginning in December, usually in a seven-year cycle, and reverses the equatorial winds to blow west to east across the Pacific. But there was nothing benevolent about the worldwide climatic upheaval Christ's Child caused that year. The heavy storms that followed the wind-driven warm water washing up against the coasts of North and South America caused deserts to flood and rain-denied rain forests to wither. Drought parched Southeast Asia and smoke from fires that engulfed Indonesia blocked out the sun and plunged the country into near-darkness for weeks. There was so little water in the lakes and rivers feeding the Panama Canal that ship size had to be restricted. Raging torrents destroyed roads and railways in Kenya and Tanzania and Uganda, and rainstorms caused more than $1 billion of damage in California. For weeks temperatures of more than one hundred degrees seared Texas. Scores of people died from heatstroke. Forest fires engulfed Florida. Canada was paralyzed by ice storms. Siberia was also hugely affected. Tundra permanently frozen so hard that houses were built without foundations melted, in places reducing entire villages to collapsing matchwood. The thaw was particularly pronounced around Yakutsk. It was returning home to the tiny township of Kiriyestyakh from a supply-buying trip to Yakutsk that a reindeer herder found the bodies. Had he not been on horseback--denied the more customary use of the sled the animal normally pulled--he might not have seen the upthrust, hand-clenched arm: as it was, his first impression was of a tree branch. He was too young to have known the Great Patriotic War, although his grandfather had been killed on the eastern front and his father had lost an arm in the battle of Stalingrad. But the until now perfectly preserving ice tomb had collapsed sufficiently for him torecognize that both corpses were dressed in military uniform. Neither uniform looked like those he'd seen in any photographs of his grandfather or father. His initial impulse was to loot the bodies of whatever valuables there might be, but Siberia is the most superstitious of any Russian region and to grave-rob risked the Evil Eye. Instead he remounted his horse and hurried on to Kiriyestyakh, to report his find. DEAD MEN LIVING. Copyright (c) 2000 by Brian Freemantle. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews. For information, address St. Martin's Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y 10010. Excerpted from Dead Men Living by Brian Freemantle All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.