The Secret Agent
by Joseph Conrad
In BriefBased on a true story, The Secret Agent examines the events behind a mysterious and fatal explosion in 1886. When a new man takes charge at a London embassy, sleeper agent Adolf Verloc is suddenly called upon to shake the British Establishment by detonating a bomb at Greenwich Observatory.
Why you should read itA lesson in characterisation, plotting and scene-setting from one of the masters, the book is simultaneously a moving portrait of an ill-fated family and a cracking good read.