The spy who came in from the cold by John Le Carré


Leggi questo articolo in italiano

John Le Carré is a famous author of spy story novels set in the period from the second world war to the period of cold war. If one does not know about the author, maybe it’s better to recall the movies inspired by his stories:from the most recent adaptation is Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy to the older movies.

Since some months ago I was not interested in this kind of fiction (both movies and books), then I saw Thinker Taylor Soldier Spy, and I liked it A LOT, and then let’s come to the novels: the novels are stand alone but linked by some characters in common (like George Smiley), so I decided to begin with one among the first written by Le Carré: The spy who came in from the cold.


The spy who came in from the cold by John Le Carré

Alec Leamas is an agent of the Britain secret service (The Circus), and we see him at the beginning of the novel in operation in West Germany (some times after WWII) while he assist powerless to the murder of one of his contacts trying to escape from East Berlin.

That death concludes Leamas operation in Germany, and the man comes back to London; here Control (the boss of the Circus) asks him to stay some more time “out in the cold” for a last mission: the objective is to frame Mundt – important secret agent in the East Germany – as a double agent.

Leamas is then fired from the Circus and starts a new life with new temporary works, being an alchoolic and waiting to be contacted by the communist secret service; in this new life he meets Liz, with whom he begins a relationship.

The spy who came in from the cold is a novel that is quite linear for most of the book, but then it entraps the reader with a series of unexpected plot twist that  change the situation and leave the reader without clues.

It’ an engaging and well written novel, and it convinced me to read other books by the same author.

* The spy who came in from the cold by John Le Carré ★★★★☆½

*I read this book in english

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