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Publisher's Summary

Bruno Salvador has worked on clandestine missions before. A highly skilled interpreter, he is not a stranger to the Official Secrets Act. But this is the first time he has been asked to change his identity – and, worse still, his clothes – in service of his country.

Whisked to a remote island to interpret a top-secret conference between no-name financiers and Congolese warlords, Salvo’s excitement is only heightened by memories of the night before he left London, and his life-changing encounter with a beautiful nurse named Hannah.

Exit suddenly, the unassuming, happily married man Salvo believed himself to be. Enter in his place, the pseudonymous Brian Sinclar: spy, lover and perhaps, even, hero.

©2006 David Cornwell (P)2014 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

Critic Reviews

"An incendiary tale ... le Carré's understanding of how the world ticks is, as always, machete sharp." ( USA Today)
"Le Carré's insight into the dense, dangerous nexus of corporate and government interests is chillingly assured." ( The New York Times Book Review)
"To categorise le Carré, as many do, as a 'spy' novelist is to do him a disservice; he uses the world of cloak-and-dagger much as Conrad used the sea – to explore the dark places in human nature." ( Washington Post Book World)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Hywel
  • 03-03-2015

The Mission Song

Carre intuitively details character and circumstance to write a beautifully human story. It is wonderfuly read by David Oyelowa whose narration is sensitive and energetic. I'll look out for other titles he's read.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Tomcat
  • 02-07-2015

Not particularly enjoyable

I had high expectations from such a famous author, especially after enjoying the TV adaptations of Tinker Tailor and Smilie's People, but unfortunately this proved a dull book. Very slow to get going, the story did not engage me, and I soon found myself concentration drifting, which rather defeats the purpose of an audiobook whilst traveling. I found the main character somewhat tedious, and could not engage with the rest. The story plodded along like a history lesson, and listening felt more like a chore. If you know something about African politics and Western manipulation, you may be better able to engage with the story.

The narrator is a well established professional actor who, due to his Nigerian roots, handled the African accents and voices with convincing ease and (as far as I know, not being African myself) authenticity. Unfortunately he overreached with Scottish, and alas I cringed at his Welsh. Can't win them all I suppose, and would again stress that he is otherwise, a good actor.

Overall I did not enjoy this book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Ashley George
  • 05-11-2016

Well worth the price

What did you like most about The Mission Song?

This is a beautifully written story which is both compelling and authentic. The combination of Le Carre's writing with David Oyelowo's narration is something that I would like to experience again.

What does David Oyelowo bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

The rich variety of accents and intonation bring the story alive. He is right on the money with his narration.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Hugh
  • 16-06-2015

Hard work but rewarding

This le Carre book is magnificently narrated which helps makes sense of the different players of all nationalities and persuasions. There's a lot to keep up with but it is a well crafted tale which leaves you feeling that it is all too true.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • G. Davenport
  • 02-02-2018

Another hit from Le Carre

Worth persevering through the slowish start to get to the author's usual inventive plot development.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • derek whittle
  • 21-01-2018

Hard work and Slow

The book didn’t really take off, you keep expecting the next chapter to start getting better-but no.

Not one of Le Carre’s best.

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  • Evie
  • 03-06-2016

The Mission Song

Perfectly written, perfectly read.

I took much longer to finish than expected, because I kept going over parts because of the beauty of the writing.
Salvo's realistically delineated character emerges naturally from his background , and the plot is exquisitely crafted.

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  • Damian Curtis
  • 25-05-2016

good le carre

good story but fairly predictable plot twists. spoilt somewhat by the incidental music between chapters.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • mrs s curtis
  • 04-10-2015

Not one of his best works

John le carre was on his soap box again, not to sure why he has started to write like this of late, I loved all of his first writings.

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  • FJ
  • 12-08-2015

A story of corruption, beautifully read.

Having visited afrika on several occasions, this story took me right back there. Excellent, well researched and believable.