book cover of Hammer to Fall
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Hammer to Fall

(The third book in the Joe Wilderness series)
A novel by

British agent Joe Wilderness returns in “Lawton’s ongoing recreation of Cold War chicanery . . . one of the great pleasures of modern spy fiction” (Mick Herron, award-winning author of the Slough House series).

It’s London, the swinging sixties, and by all rights, MI6 spy Joe Wilderness should be having as good a time as James Bond. But alas, his postings are more grim than glamorous. In the wake of an embarrassing disaster for MI6 in a divided Berlin, Wilderness is reprimanded with a posting to remote northern Finland under the guise of a cultural exchange program to promote Britain abroad.

Bored by his work, with nothing to spy on, Wilderness strikes a deal with his old KGB pal Kostya to smuggle vodka into the USSR. But there is something fishy about why Kostya has suddenly turned up in Finland—and MI6 intelligence from London points to a connection with cobalt mining in the region, a critical component in the casing of the atomic bomb. Wilderness’s posting is getting more interesting by the minute, but more dangerous too.

Moving from the no-man’s-land of Cold War Finland to the wild days of the Prague Spring, and populated by old friends—including Inspector Troy—and old enemies alike,
Hammer to Fall is a gripping tale of deception and skullduggery, of art and politics—a page-turning story of the always-riveting life of the British spy.

“Lawton scores another hit.” —
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A jaw-dropping finale that will leave readers palpitating for more.” —
Booklist (starred review)

“A terrific thriller: fun, satisfying, and humane.”—
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Genre: Thriller

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