For nearly half a century, John le Carre's limitless imagination has enthralled millions of readers and moviegoers around the globe. Read more...
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For nearly half a century, John le Carre's limitless imagination has enthralled millions of readers and moviegoers around the globe. From the cold war to the bitter fruits of colonialism to unrest in the Middle East, he has reinvented the spy novel again and again. Now, le Carre makes his Viking debut with a stunning tour-de- force that only a craftsman of his caliber could pen. As menacing and flawlessly paced as "The Little Drummer Girl" and as morally complex as "The Constant Gardener, Our Kind of Traitor" is signature le Carre.
Perry and Gail are idealistic and very much in love when they splurge on a tennis vacation at a posh beach resort in Antigua. But the charm begins to pall when a big-time Russian money launderer enlists their help to defect. In exchange for amnesty, Dima is ready to rat out his "vory" (Russian criminal brotherhood) compatriots and expose corruption throughout the so-called legitimate financial and political worlds. Soon, the guileless couple find themselves pawns in a deadly endgame whose outcome will be determined by the victor of the British Secret Service's ruthless internecine battles.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2010-08-09
- Reviewer: Staff
Those readers who have found post–cold war le Carré too cerebral will have much to cheer about with this Russian mafia spy thriller. While on holiday in Antigua, former Oxford tutor Perry Makepiece and his lawyer girlfriend, Gail Perkins, meet Dmitri "Dima" Vladimirovich Krasnov, an avuncular Russian businessman who challenges Perry to a tennis match. Even though Perry wins, Dima takes a shine to the couple, and soon they're visiting with his extended family. At Dima's request, Perry conveys a message to MI6 in England that Dima wishes to defect, and on arriving home, Perry and Gail receive a summons from MI6 to a debriefing. Not only is Dima a Russian oligarch, he's also one of the world's biggest money launderers. Le Carré ratchets up the tension step-by-step until the sad, inevitable end. His most accessible work in years, this novel shows once again why his name is the one to which all others in the field are compared. (Oct.)
Pawns in a sinister game of politics and finance
The newest addition to John le Carré’s extensive list of novels proves that this master of the espionage genre is still at the height of his authorial powers. Filled with Russian spies, financial and political scandals and even a few games of tennis thrown in for good measure, Our Kind of Traitor has all the necessary elements for a rip-roaring, intelligent thriller that never lacks in high-wire suspense.
When young British couple Perry and Gail decided to splurge on a Caribbean tennis holiday, they never imagined their dream vacation could go from fun in the sun to deadly dealings so fast. Without really being sure how it happened, they find themselves inexplicably linked to money-launderer Dima, who has ties to the Russian mafia. He enlists the couple’s aid in seeking amnesty from the British Service in exchange for information concerning corruption in the British banking system. Before they have the chance to say no, Perry and Gail find themselves acting as pawns in a sinister game well beyond their depths, one that will take them on a whirlwind tour through Paris, Switzerland and beyond, always with the British Secret Service nipping at their heels.
Le Carré has managed to capture a snapshot of history and immortalize it in the suspenseful and morally complex Our Kind of Traitor, which is based on a December 2009 article in The Observer claiming that at the height of the economic crisis in 2008, it was drug money keeping the British financial system afloat. A member of the British Foreign Service from 1959 to 1964, le Carré is well-positioned to infuse the thrilling story with the gravitas necessary to set it apart from your dime-a-dozen drugstore pulp fiction. A solid addition to his oeuvre, Our Kind of Traitor does not disappoint, and readers should be prepared for one heck of a ride.