“[Le Carré’s] novels are so brilliant because they’re emotionally and psychologically absolutely true, but of course they’re novels.” —New York Times Book Review
A new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author John le Carré
Nat, a 47 year-old veteran of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, believes his years as an agent runner are over. He is back in London with his wife, the long-suffering Prue. But with the growing threat from Moscow Centre, the office has one more job for him. Nat is to take over The Haven, a defunct substation of London General with a rag-tag band of spies. The only bright light on the team is young Florence, who has her eye on Russia Department and a Ukrainian oligarch with a finger in the Russia pie.
Nat is not only a spy, he is a passionate badminton player. His regular Monday evening opponent is half his age: the introspective and solitary Ed. Ed hates Brexit, hates Trump and hates his job at some soulless media agency. And it is Ed, of all unlikely people, who will take Prue, Florence and Nat himself down the path of political anger that will ensnare them all. Agent Running in the Field is a chilling portrait of our time, now heartbreaking, now darkly humorous, told to us with unflagging tension by the greatest chronicler of our age.
Fiction imitating real life seems to be an apt mantra for British born author, David John Moore Cornwell, or his pen name, John le Carre'. He had a very "un-normal" childhood, having been abandoned by his mother when he was five years old, and his father made and lost fortunes several times by using tricks and schemes, and even landed in jail for insurance fraud. le Carre' was reunited with the mother he never knew when he was 21. Unbeknownst to him, he developed his fascination with secret lives from his observation of his father's unsavory lifestyle.
le Carre' studied and received a degree in modern languages after a few "bumps in the road" along the way. He joined the Intelligence Corps of the British Army stationed in Allied-occupied Austria, serving as a German language interrogator, then worked covertly for the British Secret Service, M-15 as a spy to detect Soviet agents. He taught at Eton College while he was an M-15 officer. He ran agents, conducted interrogations, tapped telephones, and supervised break-ins. He was encouraged to write by other authors, writing his first novel, Call for the Dead in 1961. In 1960, he had transferred to M-16, the foreign intelligence service. His cover for that position was Secretary of the British Embassy at Bonn, and later Hamburg. It was at that time that he wrote, A Murder of Quality, and The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. He assumed his pen name when he wrote, since officers were forbidden to publish in their own names.
le Carre's novels include: The Looking Glass, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, Smiley's People, The Little Drummer Girl, The Night Manager, The Tailor of Panama, The Constant Gardner, A Most Wanted Man, and Our Kind of Traitor. All of the John le Carre' novels were adapted for film or television.