THE MISSION SONG John le Carre Hodder & Stoughton, £6.99
Bruno Salvador, a highly skilled interpreter, has worked on clandestine missions before in service of his country, but for his next mission he must change his identity and adopt a new name. Under the alias Brian Sinclair, he is to make his way to a remote island to interpret the demands of a group of Congolese warlords to nameless financiers, whoever they might be, at a top-secret conference. The evening before he leaves London, however, he is distracted after an encounter with a beautiful nurse called Hannah. As a result his attitude towards the mission changes, perhaps for the worst.