David (as he's currently known) was one of an elite corps of spies trained during the chilliest days of the Cold War. But those days are long gone and for nine years he has been an ordinary, upstanding citizen... Until, that is, a phone call in the middle of the night awakens him. The only other known survivor of that elite corps has gone rogue. They need David to stop him.
What ensues is an existential cat-and-mouse game played out across the board that is the American landscape.
Haunting, visceral, and utterly magnificent, Death Will Have Your Eyes is a novel about spying in the way that All The King's Men is a novel about politics - ultimately, its agents spy into that oddity known as the human condition.
'The espionage novel as existential road movie. Outstanding' - The Edge Magazine
'James Sallis is a superb writer' - Times
'Vivid and strange, with prose like blown glass, Death Will Have Your Eyes is somehow equal parts Borges and Trevanian's Shibumi. I was enthralled' - Jonathan Lethem
Look out for more from James Sallis in the Turner trilogy and the Lew Griffin series.
Spies and spymasters trade literary allusions, existential musings and dream analyses in this humid tale of espionage. The tone, gestures and cliches of the spy thriller color an obscure, fatalistic plot in which it is never clear exactly who is pursuing whom, or for what reason. David, the narrator, once part of an elite corps of deadly spies, got out of the game nine years ago and eventually became a successful sculptor. Yanked from his bohemian idyll to stop a former peer who seems to have gone rogue, David's mission takes him through big and small towns across the South, a goose chase that allows him to grapple with questions of identity and fate while he avoids death at the hands of various mysterious foes. Sallis (Renderings; A Few Last Words) puts little energy into plotting--or into any character besides David. The spy story seems primarily a vehicle for David's philosophizing and interaction with acquaintances along the way, but the novel works neither as a thriller nor as the deeper intellectual exercise it clearly wants to be.