In The Night Manager, John le Carré's first post-Cold War novel, an ex-soldier helps British Intelligence penetrate the secret world of ruthless arms dealers.
'Le Carré is the equal of any novelist now writing in English' Guardian
'A marvellously observed relentless tale' Observer
At the start of it all, Jonathan Pine is merely the night manager at a luxury hotel. But when a single attempt to pass on information to the British authorities - about an international businessman at the hotel with suspicious dealings - backfires terribly, and people close to Pine begin to die, he commits himself to a battle against powerful forces he cannot begin to imagine.
In a chilling tale of corrupt intelligence agencies, billion-dollar price tags and the truth of the brutal arms trade, John le Carré creates a claustrophobic world in which no one can be trusted.
'Complex and intense ... page-turning tension' San Francisco Chronicle
'When I was under house arrest I was helped by the books of John le Carré ... they were a journey into the wider world ... These were the journeys that made me feel that I was not really cut off from the rest of humankind' Aung San Suu Kyi
'One of those writers who will be read a century from now' Robert Harris
'He can communicate emotion, from sweating fear to despairing love, with terse and compassionate conviction' Sunday Times (on The Spy Who Came in from the Cold)
'Return of the master . . . Having plumbed the devious depths of the Cold War, le Carré has done it again for our nasty new age' The Times (on Our Kind of Traitor)
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
After the black-and-white narrative of the Cold War fell apart, everything got a little greyer. Against that murky backdrop, spy-thriller master John Le Carré unleashed 1993’s The Night Manager, an intricate, globetrotting tale of revenge. We were hooked from the moment we first met endlessly likable hotel chef, ex-soldier and spy Jonathan Pine, who’s hell-bent on taking down notorious gangster Richard Onslow Roper. The novel’s tension never lets up—along with broken limbs, allegiances and hearts, Le Carré delivers an eerily realistic exploration of the amoral world of global intelligence.
Previously in The Secret Pilgrim, le Carre, our premier chronicler of the spy world, gave indications of where his future interests lay, now that the Cold War and the shadow world it created are firmly behind us. In The Night Manager he expands triumphantly on those hints, emerging as a scourge of the smooth international businessmen who, with their arms and drug deals, continue to make the world a hellish place for the poor and dispossessed. The title character is former military intelligence operative Jonathan Pine, now a smoothly urbane functionary at a top Zurich hotel, who one snowy night welcomes "the worst man in the world" and his corrupt, effete and brutal retinue to the hotel's luxury suites. Richard Onslow Roper is a British arms merchant on a colossal scale, based in the Bahamas but trading with shell companies all over the Caribbean and Central America. He is elegant, aristocratic, utterly cold-blooded and apparently inviolable, protected as he is by rogue former agents on both sides of the Atlantic who wish, for their own geopolitical, greedy and nationalistic reasons, to keep him operative. Pine, who once lost a loved mistress who knew too much to Roper's henchmen, resolves to unmask him; and the novel, written with all le Carre's mastery of atmosphere, character and desperate political infighting among the smoothest of Old School Brits, tells how, put in place by a handful of determined incorruptibles in London and Langley, Pine contrives to become part of Roper's inner circle. There are many hair-raising set pieces, a fake kidnapping on a Caribbean island and a poundingly exciting dash to the conclusion. The windup is oddly cursory, however, suggesting that villain Roper may be planning a return. If so, the author's many fans can look forward, with the knowledge that their favorite spy writer has made a brilliant transition to a bitter new world. 450,000 first printing; BOMC main selection.