Although perhaps not as rich or as easy to read as later efforts by Le Carré, I found this book more than occupied me for a 6 hour train journey through Germany. A small department of military spies plans an operation in East Germany, despite the fact their best days are long behind them. The attempt to recapture past glories (in this case from the second world war)in a changed world effectively shows the transience of any moral justification for spying. Apart from the story itself, Le Carré's ability to conjure up images of this worn out organisation with its old-fashioned worthiness is one of the joys of this book. The convincing descriptions of Germany were also highly enjoyable. Whilst reading this book, I happened to be sitting in an ageing train, half expecting my papers to be demanded by surly VOPO officer.
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