'The British spy thriller at its unputdownable best' Observer
SELECTED FOR BBC 2 BETWEEN THE COVERS
Nat, a veteran of Britain's Secret Intelligence Service, thinks his years as an agent runner are over. But MI6 have other plans. To tackle the growing threat from Moscow Centre, Nat is put in charge of The Haven, a defunct substation of London General with a rag-tag band of spies. His weekly badminton session with the young, introspective, Brexit-hating Ed, offers respite from the new job. But it is Ed, of all unlikely people, who will take Nat down the path of political anger that will ensnare them all.
'A rich, beautifully written book studded with surprises. Narrative is a black art, and Le Carré is its grandmaster' Spectator
'Blisteringly contemporary' Economist
'Subtle, wry and seamless, it's an utter joy, from first page to last' Daily Mail
'A very classy entertainment about political ideals and deception . . . laced with fury at the senseless vandalism of Brexit and of Trump' Guardian
'A fine piece of storytelling' Times
Bestseller le Carr 's first spy thriller to focus on the Trump era disappoints. Nat, a 25-year veteran of MI6, is afraid that he's about to be put out to pasture. Instead, he's offered the opportunity to take over the management of a derelict London intelligence substation, the Haven, "a dumping ground for resettled defectors of nil value and fifth-rate informants on the skids." Nat accepts, and advocates for a new subordinate's covert op aimed at a Ukranian oligarch code-named Orson, who has close links to "pro-Putin elements in the Ukranian Government." The straightforward operation against Orson ends up becoming complicated and includes an obligatory mole hunt. Meanwhile, Nat befriends Ed Shannon, an agent for another branch of British intelligence, who reveals himself to be a strident opponent of Britain's leaving the E.U. and a believer that Trump is leading the U.S. toward fascism. Le Carr (A Legacy of Spies) telegraphs the book's twist early on, and Nat is colorless compared with Magnus Pym and the author's other nuanced leads. This is a missed opportunity.
Agent running in the field
Very slow moving, little character development and little exploration of relationships between the characters. As with other Le Carre books, I found it difficult to engage with this one also. Maybe just me, but I found this novel uninspired and dull. I gave up half way through.