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Classic Le Carre
on 14 February 2009
A cleverly written spy thriller which manages to be exciting whilst still realistic. There's nothing glamorous about the life of the spy in a Le Carre novel. This book focuses on Alec Leamas, an ageing spy who has one last extremely dangerous mission to complete before he can retire - 'come in from the cold'. The plot is intricate and clever, full of bluff and counter-bluff, but always easy to follow and never overblown.
Le Carre writes in a clear, lean prose. His stories are driven by plot rather than character and I couldn't really empathise with the characters, though they are believable. I found the book gripping and enjoyable, and well written, but I didn't really love it. It's a highly competent but not, in my opinion, exceptional read. However, it would make good holiday reading.