Number of Pages: 264
Genre: Thriller, espionage
Moving between past and present, the novel follows Peter Guillam, retired British spy and former right-hand man of legendary spymaster George Smiley, living peacefully on his family farm in Brittany, until he is summoned back to London by the Secret Service who are investigating an operation Guillam was involved in over fifty years ago. Forced to rake over his murky past in Cold War espionage, Guillam is forced to reckon with the consequences of a life of personal and professional betrayal.
This fine novel returns to the world of Cold War spying that made John le Carre's name and features the return of his best-loved character, tubby, bespectacled, soft-spoken, but ruthless spymaster George Smiley. The novel is a kind of follow-up to le Carre's 1962 breakthrough novel The Spy Who came in From the Cold, and also calls back to his other best known book Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1973). Written in spare terse prose, this is nevertheless complex and emotionally devastating. As with many le Carre novels, this deals with the psychology of a spy, and the moral and psychological consequences of that lifestyle. This is John le Carre at his best.