Chosen as a Book of the Year in The Times Literary Supplement, the Evening Standard, the Daily Telegraph, the Guardian, The Times
'A brilliant novel of deception, love and trust to join his supreme cannon' Evening Standard
'Vintage le Carré. Immensely clever, breathtaking. Really, not since The Spy Who Came in from the Cold has le Carré exercised his gift as a storyteller so powerfully and to such thrilling effect' John Banville, Guardian
Peter Guillam, former disciple of George Smiley in the British Secret Service, has long retired to Brittany when a letter arrives, summoning him to London. The reason? Cold War ghosts have come back to haunt him. Intelligence operations that were once the toast of the Service are to be dissected by a generation with no memory of the Berlin Wall. Somebody must pay for innocent blood spilt in the name of the greater good . . .
'Utterly engrossing and perfectly pitched. There is only one le Carré. Eloquent, subtle, sublimely paced' Daily Mail
'Splendid, fast-paced, riveting' Andrew Marr, Sunday Times
'Remarkable. It gives the reader, at long last, pieces of a jigsaw puzzle that have been missing for 54 years. Like wine, le Carré's writing has got richer with age' The Times
'Perhaps the most significant novelist of the second half of the 20th century in Britain. He's in the first rank' Ian McEwan
'One of those writers who will be read a century from now' Robert Harris
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
A Legacy of Spies is John le Carré’s 24th novel and features the return of two beloved characters (George Smiley, in his first literary sighting for 25 years, and Peter Guillam). Yet this is no mere nostalgia-tinted victory lap. Yes, with Guillam lured back to Secret Service action to retrace a botched operation, we’re certainly afforded a trip to a fan-servicing le Carré paradise. But the unmatched narrative skill and emotional heft he affords each of his characters gives this the vitality of a debut novel.
Last seen in 1991's The Secret Pilgrim, George Smiley returns in this stunning spy novel from MWA Grand Master le Carr , though it's Peter Guillam, Smiley's devoted assistant from MI6, who takes center stage. Guillam, who's retired to Brittany, is summoned to London to answer questions about allegations of malfeasance in Windfall, an old operation involving a particularly enthusiastic East German source who needed exfiltration to England. The case has reared up because a couple of descendants of Cold War casualties are threatening an expensive and public legal action against the British government. The story of Windfall comes out through interrogations, old files, and Guillam's memories. The result is both a riveting reprise of the Smiley novels and a new articulation of le Carr 's theme: spying is as morally bankrupt as the ideologies it serves. Readers familiar with le Carr will recognize allusions everywhere; those who aren't won't be left out, given the power of the storytelling and le Carr 's inimitable prose. He can convey a character in a sentence, land an emotional insight in the smallest phrase and demolish an ideology in a paragraph.
An excellent sequel
I was never happy with the sad story of Alec Leamas in ‘the Spy who came in from the cold’ and this book explains the background wonderfully.
Nice to hear from Peter Guillam
Great follow up to The Spy who came in from the Cold!
First time with LeCarre
Some how this book just misses the mark. A vernacular that most public school authors have at his age, slightly not in touch (spooks in the office wearing pumps and track suits). Every character middle class, and sounding like they're from the fifties. You almost forget you're going backwards and forwards in time, and just stuck in the fifties.
If you like Graham Greene, Fredrick Forsyth and Ian Fleming, then this might be for you. But there are more younger dynamic writers out there.