Agent Running in the Field by John Le Carre [7/10]

Agent Running in the Field” sees maestro Le Carre firmly back in the spy ring, spooling out a tale of a middle-aged, mid-level British agent runner put in charge of a ragtag operative group that stumbles upon a Ukraine-linked plot. Throw in a mysterious baleful young squash-playing friend, an idealistic female spy, and the agent runner’s very British wife, and the story careens along with seemingly erratic twists, all told in a virtuoso Le Carre character-centric style that is a delight to read. To me, “Agent Running in the Field” marries the pell-mell plots of recent Le Carre novels to the subterranean storylines and themes of the Smiley days. If our hero morphs into an over-acting old star, and thus slightly shallow, the intensity of the plot and the bitterness of modern reality underlying it more than compensate. A rush of a read.

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