1960 – From Leopoldville, to Antwerp to the quiet South American capital of Montevideo, Uruguay, Doomed Spy is a psychological spy thriller set in an unconventional distant posting at the height of the Cold War.
At the center of the intrigue are three Cold War intelligence officers: Edgar Davies, a near retirement British MI6 officer posted to Montevideo under non-official cover to coordinate the defection of a determined Anastas Molotov a KGB officer who had befriended him last year in Africa. And across town operating from his secure attic command post in the Italianate mansion that is the Soviet Embassy is the KGB Rezident, Colonel Oleg Nadiensky.
Davies and Nadiensky are seasoned operatives in the opaque clandestine world of espionage. To the casual eye, and on the diplomatic cocktail circuit where the two are never seen together, the Britisher is not what he seems. He has close secret ties to the Rezident who recruited him years ago in Belgium as a double agent.
Nadiensky rules a disgruntled and unhappy team of intelligence officers with an iron fist but is considered an uncommonly successful spymaster by Moscow: he and Edgar Davies have been reunited, the mayor of Montevideo is a Soviet illegal, and Molotov has managed to ingratiate himself with the stewards of the Platte River Yacht Club, an important members-only purveyor of sailing, gastronomy, sports, and social events.
Davies, however, rather than continue to feed the Soviets British secrets as he had in the past has become disenchanted with his life’s work, and wants to defect to the Soviet Union. There, he tells the Rezident, he envisages a new life with new, important friends in a vibrant, beautiful capital city he has never even visited. He doesn’t dare whisper its name, or even utter its simple two-syllable name except to his wife and to his handler, though he claims he can often see clearly in his mind the many picture postcard views of its skyline he has so often admired.
The intricate chilling details of the eventual betrayal of the MI6 officer by Soviet intelligence ends climactically in faraway Moscow.