Monday, 29 June 2015

Monster Mondays - The Spy In The Ointment

If you want to share your own Monster Monday, pop on over here and put your post on the list.

Now, when you think of spies, I bet the first one who comes to mind is James Bond. I'm not talking about the action hero spy, the Harry Harts, or Jason Bournes of our fictional worlds, though. I'm talking about the mole, the man, or woman who, under the guise of innocuous civil servant, or loyal secretary then proceeds to betray everyone they come into contact with.

There is something uniquely distasteful about this type of monster. They live in the protection of their fellows, stand beside them, outwardly show support, but, when the time is right, they can turn on a dime. It is the bonds of friendship and professional respect that can be so blatantly broken that give us the creeps and make these characters the ones we love to loathe.

George Smiley's world in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is one of constant intrigue, full of bluffs and misdirection, and even the 'good guys' made my skin crawl when I watched this movie. Truth gets lost in the quest for 'the cause', in this case the constant worry in the 70's that we were heading towards a 3rd world war with those behind the iron curtain. What rankles with Le Carre's plot is that, when the mole is finally identified, there's not even any real conviction behind his betrayal. Even as he tries to justify himself, he sounds jaded and self-interested, there is no great cause he is fighting for, just disillusionment.

No, I'm not going to tell you who the spy is :)
These kinds of moles, wheedling their way into people's confidences and then turning on them appear in all genres, not just the spy thriller. The ultimate being, of course, Captain America: The Winter Soldier (and I will say no more, just in case someone doesn't know).

These bad eggs hidden among the heroes are the lowest of the low, betrayers and backstabbers all. But then again, if they're working for our side, or in the case of the movies, 'the good guys', it all gets a lot more complicated. Every mole thinks his or her cause is just and their actions are for the greater good. But do we even trust the ones who are on our side? They have spent so long dissembling, they no longer know what is true and what is false. Snape from Harry Potter could be considered one of those. He is a cruel, vindictive man, bitterly disappointed in his life, damaged by his own choices. He has his own agenda as well as those of his task master, and he hates Harry. Even when we know which side he's on, he's never someone to be trusted, because his own rage drives him.

Spies, double agents, sleepers, moles - I call them monsters for their duplicity, they all come from a place of intrigue when we never know what is going to happen next! :)

So, do you have a favourite double agent?

For more information about Sophie's books, sign up for The Wittegen Press Newsletter:

Wittegen PressWe'll send you details of book releases, competitions and other news from our authors, BUT we WON'T spam you, or pass your details on to anyone else.

We will also give you 2 FREE ebooks just for signing up.

* indicates required

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by - I'd love to hear from you. :)