SPIES may be finding the New World Order a tough place to find work, but they still rule OK in the world of publishing. The Philby Files by Russian author and playwright Genrikh Borovik (Little Brown $322) comprises conversations held between the author and the British double agent Kim Philby after his defection to Moscow. When Philby died, Borovik was also allowed to peruse the agent's personal KBG file. Prepare to have more illusions shattered about the infamous master spy and another window opened on KGB ops. Meanwhile, on the other side of the Cold War equation, Brian Crozier spills the beans in Free Agent (HarperCollins $84), the tale of the secrets war, as seen by the author, a kind of freelance employee of the CIA and Britain's MI6. Here we discover, amongst other cloak-and-dagger operations, how Crozier ran an international press agency for the CIA, and how 'benign deception' of the general public by the intelligence agencies saved the day for the West from 1941 until the Evil Empire shattered 50 years later. Back in a world where the law is still supposed to hold sway, Ronald Kessler taps into The FBI (Corgi $119). Kessler interviewed 314 agents and former agents, delved into documents, rummaged through the clips and came up with a detailed investigation of the different elements that comprise America's federal law enforcement agency. When dictatorship and the creative mind collide, how does the artist survive? This is the question posed by Norman Manea in On Clowns (Faber $119), as he reflects on the Romania he left in 1986 and the choices a writer has to make when living under a tyranny. Out in paperback is the second instalment of Cormac McCarthy's evocative Border Trilogy which dwells on the land of the Mexican/United States frontier and the symbolic journeys made through it by his characters. The Crossing (Picador $85) revolves around a 16-year-old boy whose three trips across the border become his journey to adulthood. For those interested in F Scott Fitzgerald's work, there's an all-new, all-faithful Cambridge edition of his last, unfinished work on pre-war Hollywood. The Love of the Last Tycoon (Little Brown $299), the correct title according to Fitzgerald's working notes, is edited by Matthew J Bruccoli. For a modern view of life in the American film capital, Michael Douglas: Acting on Instinct by John Parker (Headline $85) will show you what it's like to be the son of a star, how to survive at the box office by making a string of controversial films and what treatment at a sexual addiction clinic can do for a rocky marriage. On the back of George Dawes Green's successful thriller The Juror, comes a second lease of life for his first book The Caveman (Warner $85). Here, the hero is a down-at-heel, ex-musical prodigy who becomes the chief suspect in a murder case but refuses to conform to police expectations. A less taxing journey into mystery can be taken with Jeffrey Archer and Twelve Red Herrings (HarperCollins $60), his latest short story collection. Several of the tales are based on known incidents but are then subjected to Archer's artistic whims. E L Doctorow's The Waterworks (Picador $85) offers vivid writing and an enthralling story as a journalist discovers his dead father is still alive and has run off to become part of a medical experiment to prolong life in 1870s New York. Amongst the Sampans by Jules Glibbery (Centurion $148) provides tips for those touring Hong Kong's waters afloat. The guide stretches from the Ninepin Group to the Soko Islands and includes maps, weather warnings and where to get started if you fancy a life on the ocean waves. To find out why you are what you are, consult The Secret Language of Birthdays by Gary Goldschneider and Joost Elffers (Michael Joseph $340). This offers personality profiles for each day of the year, describing which traits are associated with being born on a certain date. The book has been put together with the help of tarot cards, astrology, numerology and the study of 14,000 people, past and present. The profiles include tips on health and advice on how to make the best of your personal make-up.