This is the one that made LeCarre’s name. It is a dark look at the horrible machinations of the KGB and MI6 at the height of the cold war, and the price that a number of foot soliders in that war played. This book sets the form that LeCarre will work to perfection until the collapse of the soviet union – damaged British agents versus evil communists with a fair amount of innocents on both sides getting taken down in the whole mess. It also introduces, though does not focus on, the man who would come to define LeCarre’s mid-career masterpieces, George Smiley.
If you pretend to be interested in the spy fiction genre, you need to read this. Even if you don’t, it’s a great read, you should check it out.
Recommended for the Enthusiast.