This spy is coming in from the cold.
Master of the secret agent story — and a former member of Britain’s M16 (equal to our CIA) — John le Carré was 89 when he died last year.
But never averse to a literary twist, he left behind a finished novel for ardent readers. His posthumous title, “Silverview,” is set to be published in October.
“This is the authentic le Carré telling one more story,” his son, Nick Cornwell, told the New York Times. “The book is fraught, forensic, lyrical and fierce … It’s a superb and fitting final novel.”
The protagonist of “Silverview,” Julian Lawndsley, retires from the investment world and gets dragged into global sleuthing when a dangerous leak of information is traced to his new home. It’s a rich plotline that was not dreamed up on the author’s deathbed. Le Carré’s literary agent, Johnny Geller, told the Guardian that the book has been “quite a few years in the works.”
While the read was expectedly compelling, at least one thing was missing. After finishing “Silverview,” said Geller, it was “very emotional not being able to pick up the phone and call him straight away.”
The espionage novelist, born David Cornwell in 1931 was best known for his third novel, “The Spy Who Came in from the Cold,” an international best seller. He went on to write more than 25 books, and accumulated a rabid fan base. Many of his novels were spun into films and TV series, including 2011’s “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.”
For about 60 years, le Carré dominated the best seller list through the eyes of fictional character George Smiley, a career intelligence worker who revealed secrets from the author’s own secret life as a spy. His last novel, “Agent Running in the Field,” was published in October 2019.