Over at Mullholland Books, Q.R. Markham has a terrific essay entitled "The Cold War Hero." Markham's own spy thriller, An Enemy of War, will be released by Mullhollnd Books in Fall 2011, and I for one am eager to read it.
In "The Cold War Hero," Markham perceptively charts the differences between the private detective and spy protagonists, and how they create different tones of suspense for the reader. "When the detective himself is threatened, his peril simply reinforces the general gravity. The secret agent, on the other hand, whether amateur or professional, becomes involved and therefore integrated into a world completely different from his own, and he will not be released until that world is made harmless, temporarily if not finally."
Markahm's blog is also shaping up to be a great new home for spy thrillers, with insightful essays on the genre, and wonderful vintage covers of spy paperbacks of yesteryear. Operation Octopus, The Chic Chick Spy, The Dolly Dolly Spy? Yes, please!