The publicity for Once a Spy has been craftily qualified. Birmingham author Keith Thomson is making his "debut on the thriller stage." There is no mention of Thomson's two previous novels, Pirates of Pensacola (2005) and Gus Openshaw's Whale-Killing Journal (2007). I think this is because the previous two novels were terrifically amusing comedies, and the spy novel, as practiced by John Le Carre and Len Deighton, or, farther back, Graham Greene or Eric Ambler, is very serious business indeed.
In this blog, Gus Openshaw's Whale-Killing Journal, Thomson, as Gus, a fictional worker in an Oakland, California cat food cannery, tells of his adventures. Gus has lost his wife, young son, and right arm to a crazed whale and vows revenge.