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Agent Running in the Field: A Novel by John…

Agent Running in the Field: A Novel

by John Le Carré

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221883,005 (4)15
"A new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author John le Carré Nat, a 47 year-old veteran of Britain's Secret Intelligence Service, believes his years as an agent runner are over. He is back in London with his wife, the long-suffering Prue. But with the growing threat from Moscow Centre, the office has one more job for him. Nat is to take over The Haven, a defunct substation of London General with a rag-tag band of spies. The only bright light on the team is young Florence, who has her eye on Russia Department and a Ukrainian oligarch with a finger in the Russia pie. Nat is not only a spy, he is a passionate badminton player. His regular Monday evening opponent is half his age: the introspective and solitary Ed. Ed hates Brexit, hates Trump and hates his job at some soulless media agency. And it is Ed, of all unlikely people, who will take Prue, Florence and Nat himself down the path of political anger that will ensnare them all. Agent Running in the Field is a chilling portrait of our time, now heartbreaking, now darkly humorous, told to us with unflagging tension by the greatest chronicler of our age"--… (more)



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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
This is John le Carre’s 25th novel and he shows no sign of losing his ability to write a wholly absorbing tale set in contemporary Britain, with concerns raised by Brexit uppermost in the plot. As ever with le Carre, his major theme is betrayal and the consequences of serving ones own country, as Nat, who for many years has acted as a spy in various European countries, is recalled to London and given the task of revitalising a minor London substation of MI6. At around the same time, he is challenged by Ed to a badminton match that starts an awkward friendship between the two. Gradually, the two seemingly unconnected strands start to mesh with unexpected repercussions for both Nat and Ed, as both are made to question the effects of their actions, not only on themselves, but also on Britain. Once again, the personal cost of the life of a spy is examined in a fascinating, exciting and revealing story.
  camharlow2 | Jan 14, 2020 |
Nat is an agent runner in “the Office”—one of Britain’s secret intelligence services. He’s approaching the dangerous middle age when he’s too young to be pushed upstairs (even if he wanted to be) but too old to be considered at the top of his game. However, an opportunity for an operation lands in his lap, and with it the chance to prove one last time that he has what it takes.

I picked up this book and couldn’t put it down until I’d finished. The adjectives that spring to mind are “light, crisp, clear”—while some may complain of other le Carré works being labyrinthine, filled with riddles wrapped in intrigues wrapped in enigmas, this is as stripped-down as a spy story can get. It’s up to the minute, being set in the UK in 2018, with Brexit and Anglo-American relations high on the national radar, and the remnants of the Cold War play to le Carré’s strengths.

I did have one revelation in the back of my mind from fairly early on, but seeing how it played out, and what other elements of the story came together in the conclusion was well worth the price of admission. ( )
1 vote rabbitprincess | Nov 10, 2019 |
I’m typically not a le Carré fan; I often find his novels a bit ponderous. However, I really enjoyed this one. Perhaps it is his resonance with today’s politics that made it more readable, but I definitely recommend it. ( )
  vkmarco | Nov 6, 2019 |
It is a very interesting story, but the master thriller-spy story-teller is no longer able to bring together that nuanced complex narrative (e.g. Tinker, Tailor.., Drummer Girl, Perfect Spy...) that was the special hallmark of Le Carre's writing when he was at the height of his literary powers. ( )
  tommi180744 | Oct 30, 2019 |
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