Review of The Downing Street Plot by Toby Oliver

February 8, 2017

the downing street plot coverHere is another book dropped into my hands in the proper time. Just a few days ago, in fact, in Italy, it arrived the spy movie titled “Allied”, with Brad Pitt. Well, I loved this book as much as I loved this movie. I am discussing about The Downing Street Plot: An Agent’s Revenge, a compelling and fast paced spy tale written by Toby Oliver.

The book is the first of a series of spy novels selfpublished by this British author. When I said that this is the right book for the right time, it was not only because of the movie with Brad Pitt, but also because this kind of novel allows us to better understand the secret mechanisms of the Intelligence services and God well knows how much we have to understand these mechanisms, especially nowadays, that the world is under the constant threat of terrorism. For this, the international intelligence services are every day committed to preventing new awful and tragic attacks. The book of Toby Oliver, however, is set in a different time, but equally important under an historical point of view. The time reported in the novel is the post war, or rather, the time immediately after the Second World War.



The background is always London, a politically influential European city, but partially destroyed by the war and sacked by the SS. In this foggy and smoky London, a group of secret agents plays their favorite game to prevent that the British Prime Minister Jeremy Haining is killed by an unknown killer hired by the KGB. There is much at the stake for these agents, especially for Spencer Hall, one of the main characters, the good and wise hero of the story, in charge of discovering the identity of the killer who is about to kill the Prime Minister. To perform his delicate mission, Spencer asks for help to Virginia Dudley, a former agent of the CIA. Today, Virginia works at an auction house where she accidentally sells artworks sacked by the Nazis from Jewish families that died in the concentration camps. Virginia was just the spy captured by the Gestapo during the war and saved by Spencer. The woman owes her life just to Spencer. These two characters could be lovers, but their dreadful past and their current mission prevented them to fall in love. Indeed, in the story, the lovers are two powerful and ominous characters, namely Home Secretary Stanley Bradshaw and his personal assistant Maggie Ellis.

The latter can be involved with the KGB in the plot to kill the British Prime Minister, but for Spencer, Garvan and the other agents of M15 (The British intelligence service), the main target is not only this dangerous Mata Hari, but the killer recruited by the KGB to complete the assassination. Who is this man? What is his real identity? That is a former British agent named Charles Taylor. This man is the perfect representation of the vicious person, the typical person who has a high life and loves luxury cars and beautiful women. To gain and keep this high social status, Taylor accepted a contract with the KGB and takes orders and instructions from another influential and dangerous personage, Alexander Bukin, the chief of the KGB.

Unfortunately, he is forced to change his identity frequently and even to kill all those who casually discover his real job and identity, partner included! Indeed, Taylor kills mercilessly his woman when she discovers a briefcase with top secret papers about his real job. I have already imagined the scene, with the woman who pleads his lover to save her life and the cold and cruel man who shoots without to say not even a word, not even “forgive me”. For Taylor, it is more important to kill the Prime Minister and his woman rather than living a normal life. This character has indeed a unique purpose in his life: kill the British Prime Minister and get his revenge against his former colleague Spencer. One day, Taylor and Spencer were colleagues, but envy and competition have spoiled their professional relationship. In fact, if Taylor kills the Prime Minister, many heads of the British agents will roll, included the one of Spencer.


The novel shows the eternal clash between good and evil, where the two opposite forces are well represented by Spencer, the good, and Taylor, the evil. I must admit that the personage of the killer drawn my attention particularly, because he is well depicted and made real by very interesting literary details such as behavior, relationships and lifestyle. Furthermore, thanks to excellent historical references, such as the post war and the time followed after the rise and fall of the Nazism, the novel is highly recommended for readers in order they understand the important connections among the International intelligence services that, in theory, should defend us from terrorism.

Writing style

The novel is written by a British author and naturally is written in a perfect English language. The novel is also well edited and enjoys many typical British sentences and phrasal verbs that make the story still more real and compelling.


Five stars. Due to the fact that the story is wonderfully written by a British author, it was obvious I gave five stars. The novel, indeed, follows the high standards of British literature, namely: perfect English language, perfect plot and detailed description about places, characters and historical background.

Suitable for translation into Italian?

The book is not only suitable for translation into Italian, but also suitable to be published traditionally by British, Italian and American publishers. Moreover, I also suggest that producers get in touch with the author to make a movie from this helpful and gripping spy story.

The Eglinsh edition of the book is also available on


  • Daniel July 11, 2017 at 18:00

    Positive book site. Great book review!

  • CharlesTrunk July 11, 2017 at 12:10

    Beautiful website and beautiful review.

  • Arthur June 25, 2017 at 12:26

    Quality website.

    • Rosalba Mancuso June 27, 2017 at 17:28

      Thank you so much!

  • Georgetow June 16, 2017 at 17:24

    Hi there!

    very happy to seek out this web-site. I needed to thanks for your time for this excellent review!! I positively enjoying each little bit of it and I’ve you bookmarked to take a look at new stuff.


  • Johnny June 12, 2017 at 02:34

    I’ve recently started a website, the reviews you offer on this web site have helped me tremendously. Thank you for all of your time and great work.

  • Kurmalov June 4, 2017 at 04:05

    Thanks for your excellent book review.

  • Marta May 21, 2017 at 22:05

    Hi Rosalba, I saw from my PC that your articles lost the share count on your social buttons. I visited the website in the past days and the articles had a high share count. What’s happened?

    • Rosalba Mancuso May 22, 2017 at 17:12

      Hi Marta, thanks for your question. Don’t worry, I changed the permalink of my website last weekend. This change caused the social buttons can’t show the previous share counts because they were related to the old permalink. However, they will always stored in the database and if a post got 50 or 80 social share by my readers, the post has not lost them! Okay? As of today, you can see the new share count only on the posts written with the new permalink.

  • dawgy May 9, 2017 at 20:06

    Je ne sais pas.

  • Petra April 28, 2017 at 20:38

    Hey there, You’ve done an incredible job. I will definitely digg it and personally suggest to my friends. I’m confident they will be benefited from this web site.

    • Rosalba Mancuso May 1, 2017 at 15:08

      Thank you so much Petra for appreciating my job.

  • Ammie Angton March 18, 2017 at 01:03

    This is a great review. Very precise information. Thanks for sharing this one. A must read article!

Leave a Reply to Marta Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.