SF Reviews background image SF Reviews logo image
Contact SF Reviews   |   Get the Newsletter 

Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews

Tool Of The Trade

Copyright 1987 by Joe Haldeman

In Association with Amazon.com
SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point one SOJALS point one SOJALS point one SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Very good (4/5)

I first read this in 1988 and most recently in July 2001

It's 1987 and Nicholas Foley is a Russian spy for the USSR. He's a "sleeper" whose spent over twenty years deep undercover as a University professor in America. Many years ago in his research into hypnosis he discovered a form of hypnosis so powerful that it grants absolute and immediate mind-control of the subject. He's kept that secret, knowing that both the Americans and the Russians would inevitably abuse this technique. However, one day of course his secret is revealed, and he has to choose sides, or to make his own side.

So now he's on the run from both the CIA and KGB, and one of these groups has captured his wife. He knows the value of the prize is so great that neither himself nor his wife can expect mercy.

Well it's another Haldeman book and so of course it's good. It's not, however, momentous. It's an enjoyable but thoughtful read with a couple of good ideas. Surprisingly, although I'd remembered the interesting solution to nuclear war put forward in this book, I'd completely forgotten it was from Haldeman's "Tool Of The Trade".

What's it got? mind-control, spies all over the place, and a lot of excessive personal violence.

Loaded on the 16th July 2001.
Cover of Tool Of The Trade