First Sentence: At seven fifteen a.m., his bedroom slightly colder than the vacuum of space, Joshua Joseph Spork wears a longish leather coat and a pair of his father’s golfing socks.
Back of the book:
Joe Spork, son of the infamous criminal Mathew ‘Tommy Gun’ Spork just wants a quiet life, repairing clockwork in a wet, unknown bit of London.
Edie Banister, former superspy, lives quietly and wishes she didn’t. She’s nearly ninety and the things she fought to save don’t seem to exist anymore. She’s beginning to wonder if they ever did.
When Joe is asked to fix one particularly unusual device, his life is suddenly upended. The client? Unknown. The device? A 1950s doomsday machine. Having triggered it, Joe now faces the wrath of both the government and a diabolical South Asian dictator, Edie’s old arch-nemesis. Joe’s once-quiet world is now populated with mad monks, psychopathic serial killers, scientific geniuses and threats to the future of conscious life in the universe. The only way he can survive, is to muster the courage to fight, help Edie complete a mission she gave up years ago, and pick up his father’s old gun…
Quotes from the book:
‘[…] she is almost vibrating with rich, distilled energy, as if the process of living all those decades has made a reduction of her spirit which is thick and slow in her chest, but sweeter and stronger for it.’
Those times faded away in almost perfect synchrony with the change in relative scale of their palms. As Joe’s first equalled and then exceeded his mother’s, so both of them became unwilling to share the inverted contact which told them the years had moved on.[…] They spoke occasionally, met rarely, and touched little if at all.
* * *
Last Sentence: A few moments later, the Lancaster cuts a path eastwards, and fades from view.