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A Delicate Truth Hardcover – 25 Apr 2013


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Viking (25 April 2013)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 067092279X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670922796
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16.2 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (319 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,562 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John le Carré was born in 1931. His third novel, THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD, secured him a wide reputation which was consolidated by the acclaim for his trilogy TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY, THE HONOURABLE SCHOOLBOY and SMILEY'S PEOPLE. His other novels include THE CONSTANT GARDENER, A MOST WANTED MAN and OUR KIND OF TRAITOR.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By P. A. Doornbos on 19 Sep 2013
Format: Hardcover
JLC's last bestseller "Our Kind of Traitor" OKT) had a mixed reception in the UK, but was a hit in the US. It drew few comments on the EN section of Amazon.de and Amazon.fr. But tens of thousands or more Germans and French readers must have read the book in translation...
Like OKT, this passionate novel is an assault on Britain's political establishment during the New Labour era under Tony Blair, then Gordon Brown. It suggests that some key persons within government push for strategic matters of national defence to be outsourced to private companies based in the US. The "evidence" is presented in the lengthy (46 pp.) first chapter of this book, describing a secret US/UK operation in Gibraltar allegedly mounted to capture a senior Al-Qaeda leader. This chapter also shows JLC's awesome writing skills, which he will keep up until the end..
What follows is the tale of its aftermath. It is about one, then two Foreign Office staff involved in the operation. The naïve one was made ambassador in the Caribbean, then retired. The other, more probing one was posted to Beirut at short notice. Years pass by before the two meet and compare notes. Then the drama begins...
And the powers of surveillance by foreign and domestic security services, disclosed recently by former insiders, soon become apparent in this grand novel... It rivals Naomi Klein's "The Shock Doctrine" published in 2007, one year before the ongoing crisis erupted, as the scariest book I have read in a decade.
Highly recommended thriller.
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54 of 58 people found the following review helpful By prisrob TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 15 May 2013
Format: Hardcover
The first time I read 'The Spy That Came In From The Cold', I remember the first page and then not much until I finished the book. This novel feels much the same. The first chapter confusing, trying to figure out who's who and what is what. Finally, realizing that as this story unfolds, it is brilliant. Paul, Jeb, Eliot, Giles, Toby, Crispin and Emily, all characters that come to life. Gibraltar, Cornwall, London, Beirut, the Caribbean, these are the places for the world of the Intelligence Service.

Le Carré's novels have changed, his characters have come to life with humor and emotion. It is the 'little people' that are the heroes of this story. No more spies, it is the everyday Joe up against the big machine of arms and politics. Paul,aka Kit Probyn, was drawn into a mysterious game as a low level government worker. The job was finished,and he settled down in the country with his wife and daughter to the good life. Now, he finds out this game was not without consequences, and he and Toby Bell, a diplomat are trying to find and report the truth. This is a masterful story that comes alive with suspense as new truths unfold and old truths are found misleading.

There is a lot of political correctness gone awry in this novel. The issue of England and the US working together in clandestine versions of one cover-up after another. So, these two individuals come together to find the truth and to spread light upon dark waters. I do hope we are able to follow Toby Bell in his career. Truth and justice, will it prevail? Le Carre is at the top of his game once again. The Cold War has come and gone. The new era is upon us.

Highly Recommended. prisrob 05-15-13
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dorothy E L Free on 25 Nov 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The usual high standard from John le Carre with a contemporary twist. Has to be read in one sitting if poss.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Peter Skelton on 11 May 2013
Format: Hardcover
I am a huge fan of le Carre and this has probably tipped me over to giving his latest book 5 stars instead of four. As with A Most Wanted Man A Delicate Truth is set in the "War on Terror". Whereas that book's action was focused in Germany, A Delicate Truth is very much an English story. le Carre is explicit about key parts of this book being set in the dying days of the New Labour. Although he has always been a political writer and someone who has referenced current affairs I think this is the most explicit he has ever been in focusing on a particular political party as opposed to the government or bureaucracy in general.

As other reviewers have commented this is not a book in the style of the Smiley classics where one spymaster outwits another. It is more about ordinary people trying to do the right thing and being prevented from achieving it by multinationals, politicians and their business interests. In this case the people trying to do the right thing are a retired Foreign Office official and a rising star, both appalled by activities that they have been directly involved in or deliberately excluded from.

Where trade craft and other le Carre staples are mentioned it is in efforts by the lead characters to avoid the attentions of their own spy services while they try to find the truth despite knowing it could devastate their own careers and reputations.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Steve HALL on 24 May 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
A terrific read, but worryingly all too plausible. Le Carre's writing pulls the reader headlong through an altogether nightmarish world, which is all too believeable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By talmine on 28 May 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This story is set in comparatively recent times - the War on Terror - and deals with a disastrous decision by the SIS to collaborate with (a partly privatised) episode of 'extraordinary rendition' the illegal abduction of foreigners thought to be a threat to America. This is at the behest of a junior (but ambitious) F.O. Minister of the then government. This involves two career diplomats and a handful of ex SAS men (and a liaison officer with the private pirates). The two career diplomats are very different people: one is close to retirement and one is in his prime and runs the Minister's Office.

The former is sent to Gibraltar (where the abduction is to be staged) as a peaceful observer to report back to the Minister. He does so and witnesses a disaster, in which a harmless civilian and her daughter who are gunned down. After returning to London he is posted to some Caribbean Island to serve as High Commissioner for a couple of years before being retired for good with a gong.

The younger man (Toby), who suspects the Minister is up to no good, secretly records the meeting where the Minister briefs the F.O observer and the SAS participants before they depart for Gibraltar. After the event Toby is sent (for no obvious reason) to serve in the British Embassy in Lebanon for two or three years.

The story is not concerned with details of the rendition operation, but with the two career diplomats who realise the enormity
of what has taken place and feel that public should be aware of what has been done in there name.

It is a very worthwhile story although to my mind it ended rather abruptly.
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