City of Gold
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January 1942. Rommel’s seemingly invincible Afrika Korps is at the gates of Egypt – perhaps soon to threaten Cairo itself.
And Rommel has a spy in the city – a source so well-informed that the German commander knows in advance every movement of the allied forces.
Amongst the teeming streets and bazaars, the British, led by Major Albert Cutler, must find him. But Cairo is a city of fool’s gold, where nothing and nobody, not even Cutler, can be taken at face value…
This new reissue includes a foreword from the cover designer, Oscar-winning filmmaker Arnold Schwartzman, and a brand new introduction by Len Deighton, which offers a fascinating insight into the writing of the story.
decorously, facing each other solemnly across the small marble-topped table. ‘I’m sorry to bother you’ – she looked at the girl – ‘but I suddenly wondered if you could type.’ ‘Type?’ The girl looked at her as if humouring a lunatic. ‘Yes, I can type a bit. At least I could last year.’ ‘You’re not looking for a job, by any chance?’ The corporal said, ‘She’s got to find somewhere to stay.’ He looked at his wristwatch. ‘I have to get back to my unit tonight.’ ‘Where I work – at the Base
moving through the crowded alley. Darymple was almost knocked off his feet, but Wallingford took his arm and saved him. ‘Come along, Robin.’ Darymple became quieter as they pushed on through the noise and movement of the crowded bazaar. It was getting dark now, and the electric bulbs made yellow blobs in the tiny shops. The windows were crammed with sweets and spices, beans, brightly coloured vegetables and elaborate gold ornaments. Eventually the top of the El Azhar mosque came into view above
the walk back through the Bulaq shocked him. The horror of it was with him for many days and nights afterward. The cripples and beggars, the diseased children and the starving women, their skin tight on their bony frames, did not pester him. In these back alleys no stranger was likely to have anything to give. He passed children squatting amongst dung and human excrement, their bodies defiled with open sores upon which hordes of flies fought and feasted. He glanced inside the doorways to see
between her Tilly and Sayed’s Bedford as they crawled past the long line of army vehicles. Alice left as much space as she could and prayed that Sayed would not spot her in his driving mirror. ‘Damn!’ she said. ‘Sayed will surely see us now.’ But there was no sign that the occupants of the Bedford had noticed anything unusual. Because Alice was going too slowly, the traffic cop became impatient. He directed her back into the line of parked vehicles while three oncoming trucks came through.
‘Individuals like Tommy Mogg and Sandy Powell?’ said Percy sardonically. ‘Those two did all right,’ said Wallingford warmly. ‘When they saw that the Siwa Oasis was full of policemen, they cleared out quickly and warned us. That was just what I told them to do.’ ‘Yes, they have a good nose for policemen,’ said Percy. ‘A rapist and a thief.’ ‘You’re being hard on them: Sandy should never have been trusted with the mess funds. He went to the Gezira races and was unlucky on the horses. I feel