Mulholland Books takes pleasure in restoring to print an acclaimed novel of espionage and suspense by the author of Drive.
David (as he's currently known) was a member of an elite corps of spies trained during the coldest days of the Cold War. For almost a decade he has been out of the game, working as a sculptor. Then a phone call in the middle of the night awakens him: the only other survivor from that elite corps has gone rogue. David is tasked with stopping him.
What ensues is an existential cat-and-mouse game played out across the American landscape, through the diners and motels that dot the terrain like green plastic houses on a Monopoly board. Both a suspenseful novel of pursuit and a thematically rich exploration of the mind of a spy, Death Will Have Your Eyes is a contemporary classic of the espionage genre.
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.