Perhaps the best of LeCarre’s non-Smiley novels this one centers on the relationship of a fellow traveler socialist turned British Cold War spy and his longtime handler and what happens in their broken lives when the Cold War that framed their identities ends. Like most Le Carre novels, the plot is well constructed, the characters are complex and near perfectly drawns, and the dialogue is top notch.
As we all know, no one does this genre better than LeCarre. No one here is a hero, nor, really, an anti-hero. For all the international intrigue, they’re really just broken men and women muddling through and the spying is really just a way to talk about betrayal, the British class system, dysfunctional relationship. Who can resist?
Recommended for the enthusiast.