A significant role in the narrative is played by dreams and visions of Emil Boyev, which, like in life, inform both the hero and the reader which thoughts, images and persons wander in the subconscious of a brave intelligence officer, torment his conscience, do not give him rest, but, however, can not penetrate into his stream of consciousness when it is actively working and therefore can repel heavy reflections, sad pictures, painful memories. Most often, dreams and imagination draw him a meeting with the leaders of his reconnaissance mission, during which Boyev usually is forced to justify himself, then defend his methods of work, and then, at the end of the novel, he is already discussed in the past, as perished at the hands of villains from the "Zodiac", that is, the CIA, while performing a dangerous task in the very den of enemies. It is noteworthy that during these imaginary conversations, Boyev hears not so much praise as criticism. Given the fact that at these mental meetings he criticizes himself through the mouths of his superiors from intelligence, one can conclude that the main character is constantly unhappy with himself. Such a critical view of one's own actions prevails throughout the whole stream of his consciousness. The whole book, consisting of the analysis of Boyev`s own actions, is written in a rather self-critical and unhappy tone, which looks somewhat unusual, since socialist propaganda demanded to represent its heroes as knights without fear and reproach, often defeating their enemies and overcoming difficulties, and not suffering defeat and falling into a mess.
"Well," says at last general, as if interrupting some of his thought. "And how do you assess your work?" "The evaluation is clear," I answer. "The assessment is quite bad." However, I joined the action at the moment when the operation was pouring, and I could do only what I did." This is the typical course of Boyev's thoughts, and he will be faithful to it until the very end of the novel, down to that rather unrealistic imaginary scene in the chief's office where Boyev will not be, after his heroic doom, when the leaders will focus not on his indisputable achievements, but on his mistakes, mistakes, mistakes. "Again I see a meeting in the office of the general, this time without me, for I no longer have the physical opportunity to attend any meetings." The general is silent, lost in his thoughts, but this is very similar to that minute of silence, although no one has produced a corresponding phrasal. "Yes," the general sighs at last, from which it follows: "Whatever it was, and the work does not wait, it's time to get involved." "A practical guy, though a dreamer," says, as if to himself my boss. "Excellent practice," - says the colonel, not to say how I underestimated the analysis and the exploitation of the operation. "Excellent practice, just like Angelov, and just like Angelov ... He does not finish, but the end of the phrase is clear to all." And further on in the same manner: "The case of Boyev is somewhat different - repeats general - Boyev died before the very final. The final could be quite good, but Boyev died, and the situation was complicated: true, we have enough of these data, and we can continue without delay. This is Boyev`s merit - before taking risks, he took care of the inheritance." I'm not sure that the general will say so, and all this is the fruit of my imagination, but the fact that I took care of the inheritance is a fact, and the one who will replace me will not have to puzzle over a lot of riddles - he will immediately conduct an operation, - not as I did, but in his own way, so that the finish line is victorious."
A separate line in the story is the relationship between Boyev and women. At the beginning of the novel he meets Anna Ferrari, the mistress of Karlo Morandi, an official of the Venetian branch of the Zodiac firm. The author spends quite a lot of time describing a fleeting novel with Anna. At the second parrt of the novel he meets Edith, the secretary of Boyev who now is acting under the name of Maurice Rolland. In fact Edit was a GDR intelligence officer Doris Holt. Above his friends, Emil often teases, and these ridicules somewhat clarify the gloomy tone of the narrative. However, if in the case of Anna Ferrari the romance develops strictly according to plan, revolves mainly around the money spent on it and focuses on trying to find out everything that Boyev needs to learn about the activities of Morandi, then the same romance with Edith leads Emil to something much more. This woman causes him a lot of tender feelings that especially flare up in the heart of the Bulgarian knight of the raincoat and dagger on the rainy street during a passionate kiss, the need for which was dictated by considerations of conspiracy, and at the time of parting with Edith, or rather already opened by the scout Doris, at the station at the very end of the book. It becomes clear that a cold-blooded intelligence officer carefully planning complex operations and fearlessly going to a desperate risk, deep inside, hides a sensitive and vulnerable nature, prone to sentimental experiences, nostalgia, memories of past happiness, regrets of the inability to return it. Through these pictures the author tells the reader that Boyev is a simple ordinary person, and not an unemotional robot that is deprived of the ability to feel, suffer, dream, experience.
It must be admitted that the author dealt with Boyev very cruelly, depriving his family environment not only in adulthood, but also from childhood. From a long digression in the ninth, - penultimate, - chapter reader in detail learns how hard it was Boyev's fate from the young nails. He grew up in a shelter for foundlings, but this was not enough for his insidious fate. Having earned honest money on money at a freight station, overloading watermelons, the young Emil later faced confused blackmailers who had beaten and robbed him. These misfortunes already at the dawn of life taught the future scout to act simultaneously resolutely and thoughtfully. "Strike the first! It's not bad, but only if you're dealing with a pipe or if one of your punches is enough." Otherwise, you're scampering. "So, you have to look for another way out. In short, be able not only to strike, but also to avoid hitting And yet, when the battle is inevitable, it's better to strike first. "Which is what I'm doing." It would seem that, in the course of his life, Emil needs a chance to gain happiness at least at the very end of the novel, but the author also for some reason draws attention to the fact that Boyev leaves Edith forever. But if in the book she simply leaves on the train, leaving him alone on the platform, thereby theoretically giving a chance to a new meeting of spy-man and spy-lady from the fraternal countries of the socialist camp who are not indifferent to each other, then in the scenario for the film Raynov in this scene treated Emil absolutely ruthless.
Standing on the running board of a moving car, Edith was coldly shooted from the automatic rifle by Rowolt, - the standard executioner of the "Zodiac", who at the very beginning of the book mercilessly squashed on the "Buick" comrade of Emil Ljubo Angelov. I must admit that the Bulgarian actors portrayed this moment of the last parting masterfully, and the dynamic spy detective at this moment turns into a bright and strong drama. Wounded Edith, unconscious, still clings to the handrail of the leaving car, and Emil, who used to carry a pistol, who has seen the scene of the shooting, does not try to take revenge on Rowolt, who has already taken away his second dear person, but only runs behind the departing car, catching the last moments of Edith-Doris, as if trying to take away from a cruel fate even a few seconds of happiness, on which his life was so mercilessly stingy. It remains to be wondered why the final, and without that gloomy story, the author-scriptwriter Bogomil Raynov aggravated the death of Doris. The most likely answer to this question will be the assumption that the need for this was dictated by the tradition of realism, which, judging from the entire outline of the novel, then clearly dominated the writer's genre palette. Trying to transmit as much as possible the darkness and horror of everyday life, Raynov, who did not think to break off Doris' life in the novel, did not spare her in the script for the film. Well, by that, he really brought the viewer closer to the harsh realities of espionage, and so the film, shot in his script, plunges even deeper into the scout's everyday dramas than his own book.