Russian Villains in Cold War Fiction Now Seem Almost Quaint—Maybe China, With Its Own Love of the Clandestine, Is Next

From a Washington Post story about books by Joseph Kanon headlined “In Cold War fiction, Russian villains haunted our imagination. Now they look almost quaint.”:

When the Soviet Union imploded in 1991, espionage fiction lost its most reliable villains. No other society was so invested with espionage and no other intelligence agency as feared (and successful) as the KGB. With their passing, the Cold War novel had seemingly lost its raison d’etre. Writers moved on to other trouble spots. Even John le Carré, who virtually invented the Cold War spy novel, looked for stories in Africa, Panama, the Caucasus. No ground was as fertile for espionage fiction as Russia, no adversary as worthy as the KGB. And now they were gone.