A Legacy of Spies
John le Carré
Penguin, 368 pages, €10
There was huge excitement among the spy novelist’s fans when he announced that his most famous creation — George Smiley, the hero of books starting with Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy — would be making a return.
This isn’t quite the novel that Smiley aficionados might have been expecting because he features only fleetingly, but it is a reminder of le Carré’s mastery of the genre. The story looks back to the action in some of the writer’s most acclaimed work — including The Spy Who Came in from the Cold — as his protagonist, Peter Guillam, is tormented by the unfinished business of the past.
Le Carré said he was making “the case for Europe” after Brexit when deciding to write the book.