Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Book #9


A Most Wanted Man, by John LeCarre.

A few books ago, I noted that I had skipped the last three LeCarre novels. Although I am not planning on reading the one that caused me to stop reading his works, I am glad that I picked up these last two of his.

Set firmly in post-9/11 Britain, this novel traces the attempts of British intelligence to convert to double-agents both a young Chechen man and his moderate muslim spiritual adviser. The action moves slowly, as the focus for most of the book is on character-development, but the action-packed surprises at the end are satisfying.

As always, LeCarre's spies are realistic, all too human, and driven by a volatile mix of patriotism, hubris, and vulnerability. LeCarre's even-handednbess can be maddening as a reader of thrillers, not clearly identifying the good guys and the bad guys, but this style and his master of the form make for the most highly literate novels of the genre.

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