Nick Temple's World View

Let's be honest, the Nick Temple Files are not the sort of novels that will ever be compared to the great literary works of the last two centuries. The third and latest volume in the series, Silent Vector, fits that bill as well. I'm not saying that out of any sort of annoying false modesty; it's just the truth. The fact is that these books are meant to be smart, at times humorous, relatively easy to consume, and entertaining stories. In other words, a reader can enjoy the Nick Temple Files without questioning whether he ever had a real relationship with his parents, or without having to confront the anxieties remaining from a childhood that was as frightening as it was mysterious. I leave such subjects to other writers. The protagonist of the Nick Temple Files (that would be, of course, Nick Temple) has a world view, or as the Germans say, a weltanschauung, shaped by the events of World War II and its immediate aftermath. Those events laid out in fairly stark contrast the choices that much of mankind had for about 50 years. That doesn't mean that Nick and those around him aren't aware of the moral dilemmas posed by their own clandestine operations during the Cold War, or that those on the other side of that struggle are always irredeemably evil. Silent Vector, in particular, has a thread of ambiguity running through it, and both Silent Vector and The Heraklion Gambit portray some of Nick's fictional opponents in the not-so-fictional Soviet Union as both courageous and quite ordinary. I suppose what I'm trying to say is that although these books won't sit on your shelf next to Camus or Hegel, they aren't as one-dimensional as one might tend to expect from the genre. My hope is, of course, that readers simply enjoy them as much as I enjoyed writing them.