Jack Marshall and Walker served together during the war and now work in Vienna. Along with fellow spy Leslie they are taking on the task to find the killer and bring former Nazis to their side. The problem is that in this new post war world, no one is who they appear and everyone has something to hide.
The Company Files: The Good Man by Gabriel Valjan is an old fashion Noir spy thriller set in the early days of the cold war. The story is what you would expect from a spy novel, It's complex with twists, turns and surprises along the way. What really makes it a great read is how it gives you a history lesson by way of realistic characters that feel like they were really there. For example in the beginning you see the Russians as villains but as you get to know the characters you see that they are shades of grey and they don't trust Americans. any more than Americans trust them. We meet Russians that are doing what they need to do to keep the communist government off there backs. We have one fleeing from the government and another who just wants to live a normal life and not be involved in the cold war or politics. There are no real villains in this book, instead everyone is just doing what they need to do to survive. Right and wrong is in the eye of the reader.
As much as I loved the story in this book I loved the use of the time period and the character's backstories even more. You feel for Walker as he keeps having flashbacks of combat in World War 2, but you also hear of his life before the war and how he can't get over being in battle or what happened to him before that. We also hear about a character named Sheldon and how he survived being an officer in the concentration camps. We also learn that the female spy Lesile knows several different languages and infiltrated Hitler's inner circle. Despite her accomplishments in the intelligence field she still doesn't get the respect she deserves because she's a woman. In one scene her fellow male spies comment that she may be a woman but she thinks like a man. This is an attitude that probably all women in this period had to face.
The Company Files: The Good Man is well researched and makes the time period come alive. At this point in history we had just gotten rid of one enemy and were getting a new one The atomic age had begun and the world was becoming a different place. This is a period of history that I didn't know a lot about but Gabriel Valjan made me feel like I was there. He gives you a good look at what's going on in his character's heads as you hear about their pasts, their regrets and their hopes for the future.. There were times when I was reading this that I couldn't help but hear the popular jazz of the day playing in my head. If you ever wanted to know what it's like to be transported to another place in another time then get this book.