I love this Spy novel. it reminds me of my favorite writer in the genre, Craig Thomas. I guess, technically, the very first Spy fiction I ever read was called Secret Agent on Flight 101, a Hardy Boys book. but that wasn't enough to get me hooked on Espionage Thrillers. a few years later, I read something on a complete whim, feeling completely intimidated, and half-convinced I was going to be bored, or out of my depth as a 13-14 year old: Eye of the Needle, by Ken Follett; that was an eye-opener. I remember feeling that I had suddenly gone beyond James Bond films--my only real take on the Spy stuff up till that point--and that there was a whole other side to a genre that suddenly no longer intimidated me. but, for some reason, I did not go on and read a lot of Spy novels after that...but some Agatha Christies were similar, and sometimes just as exciting. nevertheless, the genres that I loved already still hogged most of my attention.
around 1990, a huge local bookstore--ahead of its time in terms of space and selection--had a displayer tucked up at the start of some General Fiction shelves; it was for a novel called The Last Raven, by Craig Thomas, many copies tucked in little niches, multiple facings up and down, left and right, top of displayer with probably a big blurb and some ravenesque artwork on the cardboard attachment on top. I love ravens--the bird--but the book was thick, and in the Spy genre...which I had all but drifted away from. I had no real reason to buy it. I expected to hate it or be confused by complex plot-lines involving world politics, but then I remembered what had happened with the Follett book, and it happened again, only more so! this time, one Craig Thomas book was enough to get me to commit to a lot of Craig Thomas novels. I loved his style, the tension, the action sequences, the heroes and villains, the stakes, learning about the world (plus fictional pyrotechnics attached). and yeah, cool that my fave Spy writer was Welsh. Cold War Era stuff--if one considers the long string of books coming before Last Raven--and so, sadly, not likely to come back into print, or to ensnare you as easily as it did me, then. Firefox got filmed, and I call it one of the most underrated Spy films ever, because of course it got promoted as a "cool airplane Thriller" when in fact there are about an hour and ten minutes of classic spy-jinks before Clint Eastwood steals the plane (even the airplane cat-and-mouse section is like a spy dance, in the air).
Night Heron just suddenly reminded me of Craig Thomas' style and energy, which of course finally guaranteed that I would be reading a lot of Espionage fiction; I don't know that I've read anything that has taken me so effectively back to my days reading Mr. Favorite, the way that this has!