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The Most Difficult Thing Reviews

The Most Difficult Thing by Charlotte Philby

The Most Difficult Thing

Charlotte Philby

3.71 out of 5

4 reviews

Category: Thrillers, Fiction
Imprint: The Borough Press
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 11 Jul 2019
ISBN: 9780008326982
3 stars out of 5
Adam LeBor
19 Jul 2019

"Philby pulls it off, and shows herself a writer of promise."

Anna’s evolution from girlfriend to mother to in-house traitor are well drawn. Philby knows the London media world, which brings a strong sense of place and time. There are also flaws. The pacing is lopsided and the first part goes slowly. Anna is given a dangerous and important task but her handler is both elusive and a former lover, which is unlikely; Anna is also self-obsessed and not especially likeable. More espionage and fewer domestic quarrels would have quickened the sometimes choppy narrative. Nonetheless, Philby pulls it off, and shows herself a writer of promise.


4 stars out of 5
14 Jul 2019

This debut by the granddaughter of the double agent Kim Philby is perhaps 50 pages too long, and its heroine is not always convincing — for a journalist, she seems remarkably incurious about what she’s being asked to do. For the most part, though, Philby manages to marry a quasi-spy novel and a psychological thriller with real aplomb.

4 stars out of 5
Nina Pottell
13 Jul 2019

"A compulsive read"

A page turner full of intrigue and deception...

A compulsive read

4 stars out of 5
Sarra Manning
8 Jun 2019

"amps up the tension"

The debut novel from Charlotte Philby, whose grandfather, Kim, was the communist double agent who eventually defected to the Soviet Union. So, who better to write a genre-busting spy novel that amps up the tension and will leave you trusting no one?