Authors: Evelyn Anthony
Tags: #Fiction, #Espionage, #Mystery & Detective, #General
THE DEFECTOR [070-066-4.9]
By: Evelyn Anthony
The Defector He was her mission: Ivan Sasanov, top KGB agent and a potentially important defector. She was his debriefer Davina Graham, a dedicated British operative who made her work her life. But he was lonely and bored, and he missed his family. So she took him home. When she fell in love with Sasanov, Davina Graham already knew that he would only cooperate if they brought his wife and daughter out of Russia. It was an almost impossible mission booby-trapped by treachery and studded with deceit but it was one for which she had to volunteer.
Even if by some strange and miraculous twist of fate she succeeded as an agent, she would have lost the only thing she wanted as a woman. ‘
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Evelyn Anthony started writing seriously in 1949 and before turning to espionage and psychological thrillers she wrote a succession of highly successful historical novels, all of which were widely translated and two of which became Literary Guild Choices in America.
Evelyn Anthony’s books are translated into nineteen languages. She is married to the chairman of several public companies. They have four sons and two daughters, and live in a stately home in Sussex. Her hobbies are gardening and listening to classical music.
Also by Evelyn Anthony
The Avenue of the Dead
The Company of Saints
The Grave of Truth
No Enemy but Time
The Occupying Power
The Poellenberg Inheritance
Wees on the Wind
Arrow Books Limited 62-65 Chandos Place, London we2N 4NW
An imprint of Century Hutchinson Limited London Melbourne Sydney Auckland Johannesburg and agencies throughout the world First published by Hutchinson 1980 Reprinted 1980 and 1983 Arrow edition 1982 Reprinted
Evelyn Anthony 1980 This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, resold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the publisher’s prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the sub sequent purchaser
Printed and bound in Great Britain by Anchor Brendon Limited, Tiptree, Essex
ISBN 0 09 926740 3
To my dear friends Isidore and Blanche with love
The man sitting opposite Davina Graham lit a cigarette. He smoked Sub Rosa, the fattest and most expensive Turkish cigarette, made by Sullivans in Burlington Arcade. The name amused him and it had become his trade-mark. A capacity to deliver bad news with an ingratiating smile was another characteristic; crisis never disturbed that avuncular calm, and he had never been seen to frown or glare like other people when he was angry. In fact, Davina thought, looking at him, he showed no genuine human feeling at all. The bonhomie was as false as the friendly concern he showed his people when they had gone wrong. A cold-hearted, calculating bastard. Which was exactly what his job required. Unlike the fictional heads of the Secret Intelligence Service, he had a name which was known to everyone. He despised the schoolboy approach to espionage, with its penchant for initials and silly code words for obvious things. He was Brigadier James White, and though she had worked for him for five years, and he knew her father well, he had never called her anything but Miss. Graham. She looked at him steadily as he talked; he didn’t frighten her because he had never fooled her either. She was used to men of his type; she neither admired nor disliked them. Like her, they had a certain job to do. Theirs was not a profession suitable for weaklings. She had made her weekly report, and the Brigadier was considering, making comments, listening to her replies. He sat back in his chair, drew on the cigarette and exhaled the sickly smoke.
“So in your view, he’s not too happy,” he said. Davina nodded.
“That’s natural enough; he’s still disorientated by what he’s done. I expected depression at this stage, but not restlessness.”
“And he’s restless,” the Brigadier said.
“Yes. He tries to hide it from me, but I know the symptoms.”
“Not from personal experience, I hope?” he asked pleasantly.
“I’m not a restless type,” she said.
“I’ve proved that, I think.”
“Of course.” The smile widened and then was gone.
“If he’s restless that’s a bad sign,” he said.
“We’ll have to think of something to make him happy. You’ll have to think of something.” He paused for a moment, and then said casually, “He’s never asked for a woman. Could that be the trouble?”
“He’s had every opportunity,” Davina said.
“He talks a lot about his wife and children.”
“Eight months is a long time for some men,” the Brigadier remarked.
“I’ll see what I can do,” she promised.
“Use your own judgement, Miss. Graham. Don’t worry about expense or anything like that. If he’s dissatisfied, he won’t give us what we want. Thank you very much.” He bestowed his meaningless smile upon her, and bent over the papers on his desk. She went out. As she walked down the corridor she looked at her watch. It was 5. 48. It would take two hours to get down to Sussex at this time. Right in the middle of the rush hour.
“Damn him,” she said to herself.
“Why couldn’t he see me earlier” Hello, Davina. ” She had almost passed the man approaching her without noticing him. She looked up and stopped.
“Hello, Peter. What are you doing here? I thought you were living it up in New York.” He was a tall, dark-haired man in his late forties; he wore spectacles and dressed untidily. He could have been a schoolmaster.
“So I was. But I’m back for what’s laughingly called a spell of home duty. In other words they felt the job should go to a younger man.”
“And did it?” she asked.
“Come and have a drink; I’m on my way home,” he said.
“I need a shoulder to cry on. I’ll tell you all about it.” She hesitated for a moment, calculating the difference it would make to the drive down to Sussex if she spent an hour with Peter Harrington. Then she saw the look in his eyes. It was lonely and expectant. He’d been very good to her when she first joined. Things had changed now. She was on her way up, and he was on the way down. A spell of home duty. She knew what that meant without seeing the need in his eyes. She had a shoulder, and he was more entitled to cry on it than anyone else she could think of at that moment.
“I’d love a drink,” she said.
“Where shall we go?”
“There’s that pub in Queen Anne’s Gate,” he said.
“It should be open by now. Should be pretty quiet too. We can talk.” Davina slipped her hand inside his arm.
“Yes,” she said.
“Vodka and tonic?” he queried when she ordered.
“You never touched the hard stuff. It was always wine or sherry. What’s got you into bad habits?”
“People change.” She smiled.
“I’ve learnt to like it.”
“You haven’t changed,” he said, leaning towards her. They had found a table by a corner; the pub regulars were beginning to come in and cluster round the bar. Most of them were businessmen and secretaries stopping for a drink on their way to the commuter stations or the long crawl home by car.
“In fact,” he said cheerfully, ‘you’ve got better-looking. ” Davina laughed.
“Don’t be bloody silly,” she said.
“All I’ve got is older. But you’re looking well. Tell me about the States. From what I heard you were doing very well out there.”
“So I was,” Peter Harrington said.
“I’d made a lot of contacts in the UN including a really top grade one Rumanian, and another likely one in East Germany.” He broke off, and discarded the false cheerfulness.
“I was doing damned well, Davy, and all of a sudden I start getting sharp messages from London and then without a word of explanation I am recalled. I have to give my two contacts to my replacement. That really hurts; I take months of work and patience to get near them, and then this new man will come sailing in and take over.”
“Who is he?” she asked. He looked so downcast she repressed her irritation at being called Davy. Her parents intended calling their eldest child David. It was just their bad luck she turned out to be a girl. All they could do was feminize the name.
“A fellow called Spencer-Barr… Jeremy Spencer Barr It sounded so bloody pouffy I thought here we go back to the old fairy days of Burgess and MacLean. But I was wrong. Have you met him?”
“Yes,” she said.
“As a matter of fact I have. It was nearly five months ago. He was trying to get my job. They thought a woman would do it better. So he got yours instead…”
“What did you think of him?” he asked.
“Honestly, I’d like your view. Naturally I’m prejudiced. And not just because he replaced me. It was the way he did it. “
“I can imagine,” she said quietly.
“I thought he was a conceited little pusher. Sharp as a needle. Unfortunately I also thought he was probably as clever as he said he was. I didn’t like him, anyway. He won’t do as well as you.”
“Thanks,” he said. He reached across and patted her hand. She had the reputation in the department of being as tough as nails. Brilliant was the other word used to describe her. He had rather liked her when she first joined. She seemed a quiet girl, not very self-confident. He had always maintained that with make-up and a different way of doing her hair she would be rather pretty. But nobody had taken her on. There were too many attractive girls available for men to bother with one who was discouraging to say the least. But she had nice eyes; they were big and green, and there was such an expression of sympathy in them that he had to swallow hard.
“Thanks,” he said again.
“I’ll get you another drink.” He pushed back his chair and hurried to the bar. Davina didn’t want the drink, but she understood that he needed time to collect himself. He pulled his chair a little closer to hers when he came back.
“What are you going to do now?” she asked him. He grimaced.
“I’m assigned to the Personnel Section,” he said.
“In other words White has sent me to the bloody Battersea Dogs’ Home. Personnel-He added a mild obscenity under his breath.
“You’ll get out of it,” Davina said.
“You’re too good to be wasted, Peter. Just hang on and keep your eyes open for a chance.”
“Tell me about you,” he said.
“I’ve followed your meteoric rise from afar. You’ve got Sasanov, haven’t you?”
“Yes,” she said.
“I’ve got him. That was the job your friend Spencer-Barr was after.”
“Not surprising,” he said.
“It was a number one duty. I always said you were a clever girl, Davy. Congratulations. Am I allowed to ask how it’s going?” She shook her head.
“No,” she said. ‘. And don’t call me Davy. I promise not to call you Pete in exchange. ” He grinned.
“Sorry. I forgot you didn’t like it. Can I ask you what he’s like, or is that contravening the Official Secrets Act?”
“I don’t think so,” she said.
“Give me a cigarette, would you I’ll get some in a minute thanks. What’s he like? I’ve asked myself that nearly every day for almost five months. And I’m not near an answer. He’s a puzzling man, Peter. He doesn’t fit into any category. Sometimes I don’t know whether he’s playing a game with me, or whether I’m playing one with him. Only time will tell. “
“You’ll win,” he said.
“No man in his right mind could resist you.” He grinned at her, and she laughed and shook her head.
“You’d be surprised how many have,” she said.
“God, look at the time.
I’ve got to go. ” She stood up and held out her hand. He took it and drew her towards him. He kissed her on the cheek.
“Thanks for the shoulder,” he said.
“Let me know when you’re coming up and I’ll give you lunch.”
“I will,” she promised.
“And don’t worry… I’ll take you up on that lunch! Goodbye.” He watched her till she pushed through the door and vanished into the street. She hadn’t finished the second vodka, so he drank it down. Ivan Sasanov. she had come a very long way indeed in five years.
“Poor Peter.” She said it under her breath, and swung the Ford Cortina out to overtake a lorry ambling in the middle lane of the motorway. There wasn’t much straight driving down to her part of Sussex, and she made up what speed she could. But she never exceeded the limit. People like her were not allowed to appear in court or attract publicity in any way.
“Poor Peter,” she said to herself again, ‘what a rotten way to treat him. ” After fifteen years of excellent service, the Brigadier had tossed him into the department contemptuously known as the Battersea Dogs’ Home. His career was finished; in due time he would tactfully be retired, or persuaded by the indignity of his position to resign. It was heartless and typical of the Brigadier. People simply didn’t matter to him. Only results. She frowned, thinking about the two important contacts Peter Harrington had made in the UN. One Rumanian and an East German. Months of patient work had begun to show promise, and he had suddenly been recalled. Jeremy Spencer-Barr would replace him.