‘A Legacy of Spies’ by John Le Carré

A Legacy of Spies book coverLe Carré is a master of his craft and brings back fascinating glimpses of George Smiley in A Legacy of Spies [London: Viking, 2017], narrated by his loyal lieutenant, Peter Guillam, now retired and living in his native Brittany but summoned, as only members of the Secret Intelligence Service can be, to answer for innocent blood spilt in that classic Cold War thriller, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold.

Le Carre portraitIn the earlier novel, now such a classic that one can ‘reveal’ that British spy Alec Leamas and innocent young girl Karen Gold die while trying to escape over the Berlin Wall but, by their deaths, secure the future of a highly placed double agent in the Stasi. Now, a generation with no personal recollection, never mind any understanding, of the Cold War wish to rake over the coals under threat of a law suit and Peter Guillam has to be put through the mill. No further ‘clues’ are offered in this review but if you have your old copy of Spy then read through it for the tenth time before you tackle this one. You will find both books rewarding.

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