I don't read books often, but downloaded Adam Hall's Tango Briefing to my Kindle just before coming on holiday here in Cornwall, and I finished it today.
Tango Briefing is one of 19 novels written by the British author Elleston Trevor under the nom-de-plume Adam Hall, about an enigmatic British secret service 'executive' (agent) named Quiller. He also wrote The Flight Of The Phoenix, which became a famous James Stewart film 50-odd years ago.
I particular wanted to read this one because a Quiller TV series was made by the BBC in 1975, and the only episode I can remember was based on this book. Older readers may also remember a 1966 film, The Quiller Memorandum, with George Segal.
This one was written in 1973 and doesn't have the usual cold war theme. Instead he has to find a freighter plane with a mysterious cargo that's come down in the Sahara, before various Arab government and security services can find it.
I found it a frustrating, but ultimately rewarding read. It's a cracking story, told in the first person but bloody hell, he takes his time telling it - in a long-winded, rambling stream-of-consciousness style, sometimes taking in plot aspects that contribute nothing ultimately to the story. He also has this little trick of taking you by surprise by casually referring to something you haven't quite found out about yet, for dramatic effect - "it occurred to me, in one of those stray thoughts that pass through our minds at unlikely moments, that it wasn't a very easy death I was giving him" - Er, what? Oh, right! Even though he's got you under armed guard, you're about to kill him!
And it gets a bit wearing after a while.
I honestly think you could remove about 40% of the book and it would be all the better for it. Needs an edit but it won't get one, and it's worth a few hours of your time anyway if you're into this sort of thing.