“[Le Carré’s] novels are so brilliant because they’re emotionally and psychologically absolutely true, but of course they’re novels.” —New York Times Book Review
A thrilling tale for our times from the undisputed master of the spy genre
Nat, a 47 year-old veteran of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, believes his years as an agent runner are over. He is back in London with his wife, the long-suffering Prue. But with the growing threat from Moscow Centre, the office has one more job for him. Nat is to take over The Haven, a defunct substation of London General with a rag-tag band of spies. The only bright light on the team is young Florence, who has her eye on Russia Department and a Ukrainian oligarch with a finger in the Russia pie.
Nat is not only a spy, he is a passionate badminton player. His regular Monday evening opponent is half his age: the introspective and solitary Ed. Ed hates Brexit, hates Trump and hates his job at some soulless media agency. And it is Ed, of all unlikely people, who will take Prue, Florence and Nat himself down the path of political anger that will ensnare them all. Agent Running in the Field is a chilling portrait of our time, now heartbreaking, now darkly humorous, told to us with unflagging tension by the greatest chronicler of our age.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Yes, John le Carré has been writing about spies and spying since the height of the Cold War. But his sharp, globe-trotting novels remain perfect for today’s reality. Agent Running in the Field focuses on Nat, a late-career British intelligence agent assigned to whip into shape an office devoted to Russian surveillance. But with Brexit, Donald Trump, and Vladimir Putin throwing global relations into chaos, Nat finds that telling the heroes from the villains is harder than ever, even among his colleagues. Written in a tone as bracingly British as a gin and tonic, this taut thriller is full of dry wit, sharply drawn characters, and real-world suspense. The tension is visceral—at times, we found ourselves gasping for breath. Decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall, le Carré remains the gold standard of spy novelists.
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.
Stopped quarter of the way through
I’ve never stopped mid-read but with this one I had to. The overly obvious liberal bent written in a way to smear any conservative idea or person was too much.