A Cold War thriller from the master of spy fiction, John le Carré's The Looking Glass War is a gripping story of double-crosses, audacious bluffs and the ever-present threat of nuclear war, and the fourth George Smiley novel
When the Department - faded since the war and busy only with bureaucratic battles - hears rumour of a missile base near the West German border, it seems like the perfect opportunity to regain some political standing in the Intelligence market place. The Cold War is at its height and the Department is dying for a piece of the action.
Swiftly becoming carried away by fear and pride, the Department and her officers send deactivated agent Fred Leiser back into East Germany, armed only with some schoolboy training and his memories of the war. In the land of eloquent silence that is Communist East Germany, Leiser's fate becomes inseparable from the Department's.
'A devastating and tragic record of human, not glamour, spies'
New York Herald Tribune
'A book of rare and great power'
Le Carre 's fourth George Smiley novel is handsomely dramatized in this BBC Audio production. Early in the 1960s the cold war is in full swing, and the Department, a holdover from the WWII section of British intelligence, forms an uneasy alliance with its rival agency, the Circus, when it is suspected that Soviet missiles may be in the process of being placed along the West German border. Death, lies, betrayal, secrets, secrets, and more secrets all add up to the kind of rich espionage story fans have come to expect from le Carre . Though this production, by necessity of time, is forced to leave out much of the book on which it's based, the dramatization captures the essence of the material, and the actors expertly brings their characters to life and are supported with excellent production values.