George Smiley is one of the most brilliantly realised characters in British fiction. Bespectacled, tubby, eternally middle-aged, and deceptively ordinary, he has a mind like a steel trap and is said to possess 'the cunning of Satan and the conscience of a virgin'.
Miss Ailsa Brimley is in a quandary. She's received a peculiar letter from Mrs Stella Rode, saying that she fears her husband – an assistant master at Carne School - is trying to kill her. Reluctant to go to the police, Miss Brimley calls upon her old wartime colleague, George Smiley. Unfortunately, it's too late. Mrs Rode has just been murdered. As Smiley takes up the investigation, he realises that in life - as in espionage - nothing is quite what it appears. His investigation raises a multitude of questions. Who could have hated Stella Rode enough to kill her? Why was her dog put down shortly before the murder? And what did Mad Janie see on that fatal night? To discover the truth, Smiley must lift the lid on a world of hidden passions and dangerous hatreds.
©1962 le Carré Productions (P)2014 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
I very much enjoyed this thriller but it is not my favourite Le Carre. It maybe that the genre, its different, moves away from the cold war, and revolves around a private school for which I personally hold very negative memories. But I have to say that the writing is quite brilliant as per usual.I must also also mention Michael Jayston who adds another dimension to the written word (that I have read previously with admiration). He is clear and concise and the change to tone of voice when characterising females in the narrative is brilliant.I have given this an overall 4 star rating (rather than my usual almost automatic 5 for Le Carre) but please don't let that discourage. Its a fine story with fine characterisation and a beautiful example of how to use the English language to its best. Highly recommended.
"A must for any connoisseur of Le. Carre"
The narration beautifully added perfection to an already stunning work. Well done Michael Jayson.
"Smiley as crime sleuth is excellent"
It's amazing how vividly Le Carré makes the characters & setting with such pared back description. The setting of an outdated boarding school is interesting & the plot mostly keeps you guessing. As much a whydunnit as a whodunnit. This was the last of the major Smiley books I have read. It's also interesting to note the social changes of the past 56 years.
Great writing and Narration, but the plot is a little less exciting than the previous book!
"A good old who dunnit"
I really enjoy the first two le Carre books in this one, George Smiley is contacted by a wartime co-worker, Miss Brimley, who runs a Christian magazine and receives a letter sent by Stella Rode,claiming her husband is going to murder her.Then Smiley finds out that the woman has already been murdered and decides to go investigate. Now read on... Excelently read as wel
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