A Legacy of Spies

Front Cover
Penguin Books Limited, Sep 7, 2017 - Fiction - 368 pages

Chosen as a Book of the Year in The Times Literary Supplement, the Evening Standard, the Daily Telegraph, the Guardian, The Times

'A brilliant novel of deception, love and trust to join his supreme cannon' Evening Standard

'Vintage le Carré. Immensely clever, breathtaking. Really, not since The Spy Who Came in from the Cold has le Carré exercised his gift as a storyteller so powerfully and to such thrilling effect' John Banville, Guardian


Peter Guillam, former disciple of George Smiley in the British Secret Service, has long retired to Brittany when a letter arrives, summoning him to London. The reason? Cold War ghosts have come back to haunt him. Intelligence operations that were once the toast of the Service are to be dissected by a generation with no memory of the Berlin Wall. Somebody must pay for innocent blood spilt in the name of the greater good . . .

'Utterly engrossing and perfectly pitched. There is only one le Carré. Eloquent, subtle, sublimely paced' Daily Mail

'Splendid, fast-paced, riveting' Andrew Marr, Sunday Times

'Remarkable. It gives the reader, at long last, pieces of a jigsaw puzzle that have been missing for 54 years. Like wine, le Carré's writing has got richer with age' The Times

'Perhaps the most significant novelist of the second half of the 20th century in Britain. He's in the first rank' Ian McEwan

'One of those writers who will be read a century from now' Robert Harris

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Paul_S - LibraryThing

Weaves all the previous books in a fantastic manner, but it does mean you will have to have read them (not a bad thing that). The ending felt somehow disconnected and just too neat with all those perfect resolutions. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - clue - LibraryThing

This is the last of the George Smiley series and it catches us up with some of those characters that appeared in the previous thrillers. Here we don't have an operation related to the Cold War, we ... Read full review

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About the author (2017)

John le Carré was born in 1931. For six decades, he wrote novels that came to define our age. The son of a confidence trickster, he spent his childhood between boarding school and the London underworld. At sixteen he found refuge at the university of Bern, then later at Oxford. A spell of teaching at Eton led him to a short career in British Intelligence (MI5&6). He published his debut novel, Call for the Dead, in 1961 while still a secret servant. His third novel, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, secured him a worldwide reputation, which was consolidated by the acclaim for his trilogy Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Honourable Schoolboy and Smiley's People. At the end of the Cold War, le Carré widened his scope to explore an international landscape including the arms trade and the War on Terror. His memoir, The Pigeon Tunnel, was published in 2016 and the last George Smiley novel, A Legacy of Spies, appeared in 2017. He died on 12 December 2020.