Book Review: Last Days of the Condor by James Grady


Sequel to the classic 1970s conspiracy thriller.

Soon to be remade for TV, James Grady’s 1974 novel Six Days of the Condor tapped into Cold War era paranoia. A feature film adaptation mined post-Watergate suspicions of government. Starring Robert Redford and Faye Dunaway, the movie was part of a wave of conspiracy thrillers released in the 1970s that included All the President’s Men, The Conversation, and The Parallax View. Four decades on from the original book and film James Grady has revived the CIA operative formerly known as Condor for one final adventure.

Released from the CIA’s insane asylum Ronald Malcolm has returned to Washington D.C No longer known by the codename Condor, Malcolm is now called Vin after Steve McQueen’s character in The Magnificent Seven.

Heavily medicated, Vin is adjusting to normal life after a breakdown. Working at the Library of Congress he has been placed under surveillance by his former employers and receives regular home visits from a case worker. After the death of a CIA operative Vin is framed for murder. Once again on the run trying to stay alive and expose the real killer.

Successfully capturing the mood of a nation increasingly distrustful of its elected representatives James Grady’s first Condor novel resonated with readers coming to terms with the loss of innocence brought upon by the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the Vietnam War. The then relatively original idea of the CIA being one of the most significant threats faced by America is now a familiar trope in political fiction. Grady’s return to his most famous creation updates familiar themes to accommodate four decades of developments in society, politics, and surveillance technology while making the plot relevant and relatively fresh for a generation that may not have read the original novel or seen the Sydney Pollack directed feature film.

An intelligent action-packed spy novel for the WikiLeaks era.

Last Days of the Condor is available to order from Amazon:


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