‘Trainspotting meets Cold War Espionage’ with Spy Author Andy Onyx

Author David Brierley chats thriller writing and research on the latest episode of the Spybrary Podcast

On Episode 206 of the Spybrary Spy Book Podcast, we chat with Andy Onyx, the author of the cold war espionage novel Like Dolphins

Like Dolphins by Andy Onyx

Readers looking for a quirky Cold War spy story will find much to enjoy in Like Dolphins.

Shane Whaley, Spies and Books, Spybrary

In the latest installment of his Barbell spy book series, spy author Andy Onyx takes us on a journey through the world of Cold War spy fiction. With a cast of intriguing characters and a plot that delves deep into the world of espionage, this episode is a must-listen for fans of cold war espionage novels.

‘Now in Like Dolphins it was to place my existing characters of BREAKSPEAR (Bradley) and KESTREL (Wallace) in the last knockings of the Cold War, right at the end, in a plot like no other.

The tag lines “Withnail and Spy” and “ A Cold War Trainspotting” set the scene of late 80s culture, music, style, the end of football hooliganism, the rising rave scene.

We’re at a critical point in the Cold War with an ailing GDR behind the Wall further de-stabled by reforming winds of Glasnost and Perestroika coming from the senior partner, the USSR. Add to that action in the hedonistic capital of Europe, Amsterdam.'

Cold War Espionage author Andy Onyx

In this episode, we learn that the plot centers around a key football game between Monaco and Dynamo Berlin and that football hooliganism plays a key role in the story. The introduction of ecstasy changes the culture of violence surrounding this subculture and sets the tone for the action to follow.

The cast of characters is explored in depth throughout the episode, with each one complementing one another and creating tension when in the other's presence. The protagonist, KESTREL is tasked with rehabilitating BREAKSPEAR, a previous partner who had a psychological issue and was out of action. The dynamic between the two former partners is fascinating to read, and adds an extra layer of intrigue to the story.

As Andy Onyx reveals more about the plot but keeping spoilers to himself (this is the way on Spybrary), it becomes clear that loyalty will be tested, and betrayal is a constant risk.

Andy Onyx also recommends some must-read books for Cold War spy fiction fans, including “The Outsider” by Frederick Forsyth and “The Fist of God” by the same author. Andy also reveals some of the books on East Germany that he used for researching East Germany.

Onyx has also created an eclectic Spotify playlist featuring music relevant to the story. From “Ride On Time” to “Sympathy for the Devil,” the music adds another dimension to the storytelling.

Overall, Like Dophins is a quirky, intriguing, and informative exploration of Cold War spy fiction. Whether you're a die-hard fan of the spy genre or just looking for something new to read, Like Dolphins is well worth a read.

So what are you waiting for? Tune in to the latest episode to find out how the story unfolds.

Discussed in the episode:

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