Review: Agent Running in the Field

agentAgent 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

About Roz Kay

Roz Kay is a writer and former journalist with her debut children’s novel, The Keeper of the Stones, appearing in 2020 from Hayloft Books. Roz's short fiction has been published under the name Roz DeKett in Fish Publishing’s 2017 Anthology, The Nottingham Review, The York Literary Review, and the Bedford International Writing Competition’s 2018 Anthology. She has also appeared as Roz Kay in the American children’s literary magazine, Cricket. As a news journalist, Roz worked for The Journal in the North East, the Liverpool Echo, and BBC local and national radio in Manchester. She is a graduate of the University of Leeds and lives in Wiltshire.
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