Our Kind of Traitor was a refreshing twist on the spy novel. Le Carré has really put together a tightly knit, and intriguingly told spy novel, written from the POV of layman like you and me.
Young, Oxford academic, Perry Makepiece and his potential fiance, Gail Perkins decide to take the sun in Antigua for some couple-time and tennis and run into a shady but personable Russian called Dima by his friends. It quickly becomes obvious to Perry and Gail that their new friend Dima is not only shady, but extremely wealthy, driven, persistent and growingly determined to draw the young couple way outside their comfort zone.
Through the innocent eyes of Perry and Gail, le Carré paints a complex and frankly depressing portrait of security services in England, and by extension, most other developed nations. Our young couple has become drawn, even enamored--almost against their collective wills--with Dima, his strange and dysfunctional family, the British agents they approach for help, and the whole cloak-and-dagger experience of being caught up in something larger than themselves.
Le Carré* caught my eye again after the Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy movie adaptation recently. I may have read this, or The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, when I was a teen. And then just a few years ago I read his Single & Single, which was okay, but cooled me on him for a while.
Read this book.
* John le Carré is the pen name for David John Moore Cornwell