Len Deighton was born in London in 1929. He worked as a railway clerk before doing his National Service in the RAF as a photographer attached to the Special Investigation Branch. After his discharge in 1949, he went to art school at the St. Martin's School of Art and then to the Royal College of Art on a scholarship. It was during his time as a waiter in the evenings that he developed an interest in cooking. He worked for a while as an illustrator in New York City and as art director of an advertising agency in London. Deighton moved to Dordogne when he decided to settle down. This is when he worked on his first book, "The Ipcress File". The book became an immediate and spectacular success when it was released in 1962. Since then he as become quite the accomplished writer with 26 works of fiction and non-fiction to his name. Most of his novels are of the genre of Spy Stories, Highly Researched War Novels and Histories.

Book List:


The first four novels he wrote featured an anonymous hero (or anti-hero) sometimes refered to as the "Harry Palmer" books after the name given to the character in the movies based on three of these books.

The Samson Stories (Main character is Bernard Samson)

This series was first released in 1984 after a brief hiatus.

A Prequel to the first Samson trilogy

  • Winter : A Berlin Family (1899-1945)
  • The second Samson Trilogy

    His next three novels took a slightly different twist because of the changing political climat in Germany.

    After the cold war was officially over, LD took a brief hiatus and later returned with the third Samson trilogy.

    Hopefully, I have inspired you to try some of his work. Once you finish reading one of his novels, please drop me a note through my Email to give me your opinion or ask any questions!

    Photo of Len Deighton from book jacket

    Last updated on 04/16/98

    © 1998 Ryan