A counter-terror operation, codenamed Wildlife, is being mounted in Britain's most precious colony, Gibraltar. Its purpose: to capture and abduct a high-value jihadist arms-buyer. Its authors: an ambitious Foreign Office Minister, and a private defence contractor who is also his close friend. So delicate is the operation that even the Minister's Private Secretary, Toby Bell, is not cleared for it.
Suspecting a disastrous conspiracy, Toby attempts to forestall it, but is promptly posted overseas. Three years on, summoned by Sir Christopher Probyn, retired British diplomat, to his decaying Cornish manor house, and closely watched by Probyn's daughter Emily, Toby must choose between his conscience and his duty to the Service.
If the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing, how can he keep silent?
'No other writer has charted - pitilessly for politicians but thrillingly for readers - the public and secret histories of his times, from the second world war to the 'war on terror'' Guardian
'The master of the modern spy novel returns . . . this is writing of such quality that - as Robert Harris put it - it will be read in one hundred years. John le Carré was never a spy-turned-writer, he was a writer who found his canvas in espionage, as Dickens did in other worlds. The two men deserve comparison' Daily Mail
'A brilliant climax, with sinister deaths, casual torture, wrecked lives and shameful compromises' Observer
'With A Delicate Truth, le Carré has in a sense come home. And it's a splendid homecoming . . . the novel is the most satisfying, subtle and compelling of his recent oeuvre' The Times
John le Carré was born in 1931 and attended the universities of Bern and Oxford. He taught at Eton and served briefly in British Intelligence during the Cold War. For the last fifty years he has lived by his pen. He divides his time between London and Cornwall.
I think he has easily burst out of being a genre writer and will be remembered as perhaps the most significant novelist of the second half of the 20th century in Britain. He will have charted our decline and recorded the nature of our bureaucracies like no one else has. But that's just been his route into some profound anxiety in the national narrative. Most writers I know think le Carré is no longer a spy writer. He should have won the Booker Prize a long time ago. It's time he won it and it's time he accepted it. He's in the first rank.
No other writer has charted - pitilessly for politicians but thrillingly for readers - the public and secret histories of his times, from the Second World War to the "War on Terror"
One of those writers who will be read a century from now
With A Delicate Truth, le Carré has in a sense come home. And it's a splendid homecoming . . . Satisfying, subtle and compelling
The perfectly paced, exquisitely cynical style that is le Carré's hallmark
The master of the modern spy novel returns . . . this is writing of such quality that - as Robert Harris put it - it will be read in one hundred years
A brilliant climax, with sinister deaths, casual torture, wrecked lives and shameful compromises
John le Carré has lost none of his ability in skewering the murkier foibles of the British Establishment. A tale of deception, greed, betrayal and ultimately, revenge . . . it is not until the last few pages that the full three dimensions of the plot are thrillingly revealed
A writer of towering gifts . . . le Carré is one of the great analysts of the contemporary scene, who has a talent to provoke as well as unsettle
John le Carré takes us back to his favourite scenarios: Whitehall, the secret services, the gentleman's clubs, dodgy bankers, corrupt public schoolboys and gruesome American neo-cons . . . revelling once more in that imaginary world of secrets and lies that is le Carré's gift to us
Alongside Alexander Skarsgård and Michael Shannon, Florence Pugh stars in The Little Drummer Girl, the latest adaptation of John le Carré’s thrilling novel of espionage and betrayal. Here she reads le Carré’s description of the character that she herself plays in the BBC series.
John le Carré’s suspense-filled drama The Little Drummer Girl hits TV screens later this year. Here's your first look at the production that includes industry heavyweights Alexander Skarsgård and Michael Shannon.