Departure Deferred

In this novel, John Drake meets his boss, an old man named Fenner. It seesm that an atomic physicist by the name of Shequeri was in Albania, and was wanted by the Chinese to help their atomic bomb program. he didn't want to go and was smuggled out by some friends. Unfortunately his daughter was left behind, captured, tortured, and held for "final" sentencing. Drake has to get her out of Albania to prevent the scientist from going back, but he has nly 36 hours before the girl is due to be executed.

A man who looks just like Drake is killed by British agents, so Drake is to take the man's place and go to Albania and free the girl. Unfortunately, the agent that thought he killed the man is upset that the "dead" man has turned up "alive" (he wasn't told Drake is impersonating the dead man) and he tries to kill Drake. He fails, and Fenner kills him.

The agent was also a traitor, and complications soon arise for Drake and a woman named Dandi Malater, who was his former enemy. Drake is recognized by a girlfriend of the man he replaced, but she won't tell, since she wants out of the country and thinks Drake can help her. Then Drake and Malater are called to the office of the secret police where his ruse is discovered. What follows is a wild pattern of acton with considerable bluffing by Drake, trying to play off two opposing factions in a revolt starting in Albania.

Drake finally wins out and the girl is saved from execution and all concerned leave Albania well, sound and successful.

Overall this is another good Secret Agent story, with a lot of action and intrigue, yet not an overly large amount of violence, and definitely without any of the over-reliance on fancy technological gadgets.

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