Hammer To Fall is definitely one of the best spy novels I've read in a long time. As a punishment after a botched exchange in Berlin, MI6 spy Joe Wilderness has been sent to a post in northern Finland as part of a programme to promote Britain abroad. Bored, and with nothing else to do, after hearing of a vodka shortage, the maverick thief decides to start smuggling it across the border into the USSR. This soon escalates into exchanging it for Russian secret documents which allude to atomic bomb making.
Author John Lawton frequently switches the time and location of the narrative, which could be confusing if you haven't read the previous books in the series. However, as always this book is beautifully written, very well constructed with plenty of tension and humour and is set during a very interesting time in history. I would definitely recommend for anyone interested in Cold War spy and espionage novels.