And then he did the John Smith double-series, starting with "Private I," which is a more downbeat espionage tale in the Len Deighton mold. Deighton is often overlooked for John le Carre when it comes their influence over the genre. The "Harry Palmer" novels had big influence on a lot of writers who wanted some of the Bond money, but just couldn't do the "spy-fi" thing and wanted to do something grounded. After Len a lot of books about broke, grubby, disobedient secret agents popped up. John Smith is in this mold, but Sangster puts a little American private eye into the soup and lets it boil. It seems like a personal book, whether its just me projecting or not, I think a lot of Sangster is John Smith, the little habits and personal observations. It's a confident voice that compels you to turn pages.
It's a sublime story of a dirty cat-and-mouse game. It's currently very easily picked up in both print, ebook and audio from the stellar publisher Brash Books. Do yourself a favor and give it a try. Also Sangster's later series about ex-Scotland Yard copper James Reed are novels worth reading, basically I'm saying is it says Jimmy Sangster on the cover you're in for a good time.
SIDE-NOTE: My copy of "Private I" is a former library book, I usually shy away from ex-library book because of usually being hardbacks and in poor-shape. BUT before I went full-book-crazy I got most of my reading from the library. I got waves of nostalgia holding this re-bond old book. I went through most of my readings Donald Westlake (and Richard Stark) Mickey Spillane, and countless others with these plain covered books that were coffee stained (and god knows what else) and shabby, but shaped my reading love. I guess you can come home again.