Friday 7 June 2019




London, 1979. A new government is about to take power in Britain, and the intelligence services need to be purged.

Roy Nichols is pushing fifty, a little too fond of a drink, and frustrated in his career. He's also in charge of a division of MI5 in which a Soviet mole has been found to be operating. It's his job to identify and expose the enemy agent.

Nichols has two acolytes, both with their strengths and weaknesses. Which is the mole? As the shadow of suspicion falls on Nichols himself, he finds the pressure almost more than he can bear, and resorts to an unorthodox method of coping: he starts a diary...

A tense, chilling Cold War spy mystery in the spirit of Le Carre, Snout is an 8,000-word story of suspense and high drama that will keep you guessing right up until the final twist.

Tim Stevens is the author of the acclaimed action/espionage thrillers Ratcatcher, Delivering Caliban, Jokerman, Tundra, Severance Kill and Annihilation Myths, and the Cold War spy novella Reunion.

Another previously enjoyed author revisited through a long short story. I'm building up to trying one of his novels eventually!

I've not read enough Le Carre to confirm whether the comparison with one of the masters of the espionage trope is merited, but I liked what I read here. I do like dipping into the espionage genre. There's always someone with something to hide, always someone playing someone else.

Here.......duplicity, double dealing, treachery, betrayal, an investigation, suspicion, a lack of respect, a few home truths and after twists and turns and a final twist, a resolution and answers for the reader.

I wasn't especially stunned by the final outcome, I think when you read a lot of mysteries/thrillers/crime fiction the last "unexpected" twist is mostly a given. You may not know exactly what it will be, but you anticipate it's arrival.

4 from 5

Spiked has been enjoyed by the author before.

Read - June, 2019
Published - 2012
Page count - 33
Source - purchased copy
Format - kindle


  1. Sounds like a solid story, Col. I'm not usually big on the espionage thing, but it can work, especially if the characters are well developed. Sounds as though they are here, and that's great. Glad you enjoyed it .

    1. I do like espionage, Margot. I just don't read it as often as I would like to.

  2. Well, you know I like spy fiction. Rather read a novel though in most cases, and I do Ratcatcher on the Kindle for someday.

  3. I like the sound of this one. I do like a Cold War spy thriller, and a short one is a good way to try out a new-to-me author... Tempted.

    1. It was a decent hour or so's reading. Maybe you will enjoy his work.