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Adult fiction: Spy

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Page: 12345

The Looking Glass War

Author: John le Carre

Publisher: Coward-McCann (1965)

The Looking Glass War is a 1965 spy novel by John le Carré. Written in response to the positive public reaction to his previous novel, The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, Carre intended the book as a satire about the unglamorous nature of espionage and the danger of nostalgia. The book tells the story of an incompetent British intelligence agency known as The Department and its multiple botched attempts to verify a Communist defector's story of a Soviet missile buildup in East Germany.

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The Mission Song

Author: John le Carre

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (2007)

In this spy story by John le Carré, Bruno Salvador has worked on clandestine missions before. A highly skilled interpreter, he is no stranger to the Official Secrets Act. But this is the first time he has been asked to change his identity – and, worse still, his clothes – in service of his country. Whisked to a remote island to interpret a top-secret conference between no-name financiers and Congolese warlords, Salvo’s excitement is only heightened by memories of the night before he left London, and his life-changing encounter with a beautiful nurse named Hannah. Exit suddenly the unassuming, happily married man Salvo believed himself to be. Enter in his place the pseudonymous Brian Sinclair: spy, lover – and perhaps, even, hero.

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The Night Manager

Author: John le Carre

Publisher: Penguin Classics (2016)

A special edition of le Carré's first post-Cold War novel, to tie in with the new major BBC series starring Hugh Laurie and Tom Hiddleston, with a new afterword by the author. At the start of it all, Jonathan Pine is merely the night manager at a luxury hotel. But when a single attempt to pass on information to the British authorities - about an international businessman at the hotel with suspicious dealings - backfires terribly, and people close to Pine begin to die, he commits himself to a battle against powerful forces he cannot begin to imagine. In a chilling tale of corrupt intelligence agencies, billion-dollar price tags and the truth of the brutal arms trade, John le Carré creates a claustrophobic world in which no one can be trusted.

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The Russia House

Author: John le Carre

Publisher: Penguin (1989)

A spy story by John le Carré.

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The Secret Agent

Author: Joseph Conrad

Publisher: Penguin Modern Classics (1980)

This book is considered to be one of the first great espionage novels of the 20th century and the inspiration for countless others. It is set in 1886 and tells the story of Adolf Verloc, a London businessman and secret agent. Verloc is part of a group of anarchists who produce pamphlets entitled, ‘The Future of the Proletariat’ and hold closed, private meetings. It explores themes of politics, terrorism and human identity. Conrad does not present a particular political stance but rather depicts characters and ideas objectively and straightforwardly. He writes economically, reserving judgement on the characters or their dogma. The plot is quite intricate and demanding of the reader and it has been criticised for being difficult to disentangle. A wide range of complex characters reveal their unique psychological and political motivations, each believing that he is doing the right thing. None of the characters are particularly attractive or even likeable and there is no hero or villain to latch on to. If you can rise to the demands of this novel and stick with it, you will have experienced one of the literary masterpieces of out time.

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The Secret Pilgrim

Author: John le Carre

Publisher: Random House (1991)

Chippings from a master's chisel: ten short stories and an epilogue artfully disguised as a novel of post-glasnost reminiscences of espionage, all showing John le Carré at his most nervously relaxed. Grand old man George Smiley agrees to address narrator Ned York's graduating class at Sarratt; his urbanely pointed remarks serve as the text for each of the retrospective anecdotes that follow.

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The Shining Day

Author: Frank Ross

Publisher: London MacMillan & Co Ltd (1981)

This is a well-done spy story with a complex lead character who is determined to be somebody. He is a German Spy sent to England in typically clumsy fashion and is detected before he even sets foot in Britain.

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The Spy Who Came in From The Cold

Author: John le Carre

Publisher: Random House (1997)

In this spy story by John le Carré, Alex Leamas is tired. It's the 1960s, he's been out in the cold for years, spying in Berlin for his British masters, and has seen too many good agents murdered for their troubles. Now Control wants to bring him in at last - but only after one final assignment. He must travel deep into the heart of Communist Germany and betray his country, a job that he will do with his usual cynical professionalism. But when George Smiley tries to help a young woman Leamas has befriended, Leamas's mission may prove to be the worst thing he could ever have done.

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The Tailor of Panama

Author: John le Carre

Publisher: Knopf (1996)

Le Carré's Panama—the young country of 2.5 million souls which, on December 31, 1999, will gain full control of the Panama Canal—is a Casablanca without heroes, a hotbed of drugs, laundered money and corruption. In a thrilling, hilarious novel, le Carré has provided us with a satire about the fate of truth in modern times. Once again, he has effortlessly expanded the borders of the spy story to bring us a magnificent entertainment straight out of the pages of tomorrow's history.

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The Trouble With Guns

Author: Jeffrey Noel

Part of a series: Johnny Perfect

Publisher: Sphere Books Limited (1976)

EASTERN PROMISE?!? After practising a few novelties on a Sicilian lady, our amorous antique dealer feels the need to get a long way away from her three gorillas - sorry, brothers. And not because of the garlic! So he leaps at Sheik Abu Ben Rama's offer of a trip to the Orient and on to his yacht. Well, he nearly made it! Having been fished out of the Mediterranean, Johnny lands in the proverbial frying pan. His nose for trouble quickly sniffs out a cargo of farm machinery which looks remarkably like guided missiles. Then he's really in the fire - the line of fire! Gazing right down the gun barrels of the Sheik's personal firing squad - Look out for more hilariously bawdy trouble in the first Johnny Perfect adventure: The Trouble With Eskimos.

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