A Quick Peek at LeCarré
The weather outside has been frightful, which means... perfect reading conditions. I haven't read any LeCarré for a few years, but in honour of the first anniversary of his death, I picked up the last two titles he wrote, and fell right in.
Silverview is the story of secrets and loyalties in a seaside town. It's billed as LeCarré's last complete work, but I suspect it wasn't quite finished before he died, as it was published post-humously and the ending felt a little rushed to me. Still, it's entirely enjoyable to read the author weave his story inside the contemporary UK, and the conflicts his characters feel when torn between love of country and the realities of politics.
By contrast, in Agent Running in the Field, LeCarré (who had to have been 90 when he turned the book in), shows he was still at the top of his story-telling game. Never has the game of badminton taken on so significant a role as in this story of agents and double-agents and a world gone mad. Set against the background that includes awkward British diplomacy with the Trump presidency and a volitile Russia, I was rivetted from start to finish. Narrated by the author, I cannot recommend listening to this man read his own stories highly enough. I loved every word.