Agent Running in the Field: John le Carré
The trademark John le Carré wry wit and obfuscation is there, but perhaps not sufficiently to carry what feels quite two-dimensional as a story. Nat, a has-been agent runner being put out to pasture, gets too friendly with a man he knows little about other than he’s an excellent badminton player. Brexit and Trump are factored in; Nat and Ed, his new badminton partner, are in accord. But the story plays out without a great deal of tension – we can see what’s coming – until the last few pages. The ending, quite abrupt, seems adrift from the book’s moorings and is puzzling rather than satisfying. There’s some inattentive editing too – just about everyone takes a “long pull” at their drinks, sometimes within a page of each other. A good novel, quite entertaining; but not Le Carré’s best.
Published 2019, Penguin Random House | Viking