Synopses & Reviews
New spies with new loyalties, old spies with old ones; terror as the new mantra; decent people wanting to do good but caught in the moral maze; all the sound, rational reasons for doing the inhuman thing; the recognition that we cannot safely love or pity and remain good "patriots" — this is the fabric of John le Carré's fiercely compelling and current novel A Most Wanted Man
A half-starved young Russian man in a long black overcoat is smuggled into Hamburg at dead of night. He has an improbable amount of cash secreted in a purse around his neck. He is a devout Muslim. Or is he? He says his name is Issa.
Annabel, an idealistic young German civil rights lawyer, determines to save Issa from deportation. Soon her client's survival becomes more important to her than her own career — or safety. In pursuit of Issa's mysterious past, she confronts the incongruous Tommy Brue, the sixty-year-old scion of Brue Frères, a failing British bank based in Hamburg.
Annabel, Issa and Brue form an unlikely alliance — and a triangle of impossible loves is born. Meanwhile, scenting a sure kill in the "War on Terror," the rival spies of Germany, England and America converge upon the innocents.
Thrilling, compassionate, peopled with characters the reader never wants to let go, A Most Wanted Man is a work of deep humanity and uncommon relevance to our times.
"When boxer Melik Oktay and his mother, both Turkish Muslims living in Hamburg, take in a street person calling himself Issa at the start of this morally complex thriller from le Carr (The Mission Song), they set off a chain of events implicating intelligence agencies from three countries. Issa, who claims to be a Muslim medical student, is, in fact, a wanted terrorist and the son of Grigori Karpov, a Red Army colonel whose considerable assets are concealed in a mysterious portfolio at a Hamburg bank. Tommy Brue, a stereotypical flawed everyman caught up in the machinations of spies and counterspies, enters the plot when Issa's attorney seeks to claim these assets. The book works best in its depiction of the rivalries besetting even post-9/11 intelligence agencies that should be allies, but none of the characters is as memorable as George Smiley or Magnus Pym. Still, even a lesser le Carr effort is far above the common run of thrillers." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"The old spy master hasn't lost his touch....Highly recommended." Library Journal
"[L]e Carré, without lecturing, deftly puts human faces and human costs on the paranoid response to the threat of terrorism." Kirkus Reviews
"There is very little conventional action in this novel, but the tension builds anyway, as we watch the slow, inexorable, almost boring way that institutional will grinds down individual lives." Booklist
"Le Carré's ... secret agents exist in a world of stalemate, moral compromise, ambiguity and betrayal... Like his books, le Carré is a mix of unblinking realism and hopeful humanism."-- Jill Lawless, Associated Press
"Highly recommended."-- Library Journal
"Turn the pages slowly, because an era is passing, and with it, an illuminating view of the troubled keepers of an uneasy peace."-- James F. Sweeney, Cleveland Plain Dealer
"An instant classic... A provocative and incendiary ending that only le Carré, the master, can pull off."-- USA Today
Hailed as "the literary master for a generation" (The London Observer), New York Times-bestselling author le Carre returns with a stunning, compelling work set in Hamburg — a work of deep humanity and uncommon relevance to our times.
About the Author
John le Carré was born in 1931 and lives in Cornwall, England. His eighteen novels have been translated into thirty-seven languages and include The Little Drummer Girl, A Perfect Spy, The Russia House, The Spy Who Came In from the Cold, Smiley's People, and The Constant Gardener.