The dead hand of a long-defeated Nazi Third Reich reaches out to Portugal, London and Marrakech in Deighton's second novel, featuring the same anonymous narrator and milieu of The IPCRESS File, but finds Dawlish now head of the secret British Intelligence unit, WOOC(P).
The Ipcress File was a debut sensation. Here in the second Secret File, Horse under Water, skin-diving, drug trafficking and blackmail all feature in a curious story in which the dead hand of a long-defeated Hitler-Germany reaches out to Portugal, London and Marrakech, and to all the neo-Nazis of today's Europe.
The detail is frightening but unfaultable; the story as up to date as ever it was. The un-named hero of The Ipcress File the same: insolent, fallible, capricious - in other words, human. But he must draw on all his abilities, good and bad, when plunged into a story of murder, betrayal and greed every bit as murky as the waters off the coast of Portugal, where the answers lie buried.