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A Delicate Truth | [John le Carré]

A Delicate Truth

A counter-terror operation, codenamed Wildlife, is being mounted in Britain's most precious colony, Gibraltar. Its purpose: to capture and abduct a high-value jihadist arms-buyer. Its authors: an ambitious Foreign Office Minister, and a private defence contractor who is also his close friend. So delicate is the operation that even the Minister's Private Secretary, Toby Bell, is not cleared for it.
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Publisher's Summary

A counter-terror operation, codenamed Wildlife, is being mounted in Britain’s most precious colony, Gibraltar. Its purpose: to capture and abduct a high-value jihadist arms-buyer. Its authors: an ambitious Foreign Office Minister, and a private defence contractor who is also his close friend. So delicate is the operation that even the Minister’s Private Secretary, Toby Bell, is not cleared for it. Suspecting a disastrous conspiracy, Toby attempts to forestall it, but is promptly posted overseas.

Three years on, summoned by Sir Christopher Probyn, retired British diplomat, to his decaying Cornish manor house, and closely watched by Probyn’s daughter Emily, Toby must choose between his conscience and his duty to the Service. If the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing, how can he keep silent?

John le Carre was born in 1931 and attended the universities of Bern and Oxford. He taught at Eton and served briefly in British Intelligence during the Cold War. For the last fifty years he has lived by his pen. He divides his time between London and Cornwall.

©2013 John le Carré (P)2013 Penguin Books Limited

What the Critics Say

"One of those writers who will be read a century from now" (Robert Harris)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (54 )
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Performance


There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

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  • George
    Los Angeles
    9/8/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderfully plotted, well read by le Carre"

    I very much enjoyed the book. Great characterisation, complex plot well put together. Have not had great experiences with books read by the author but le Carre does a great job. He's great at all his various accents!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Crispin
    Tufnell Park, United Kingdom
    9/5/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Some authors should stick to writing"
    What disappointed you about A Delicate Truth?

    The narration. The breathing was really distracting


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Not sure as could not get past the narration


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Should have left it to a professional actor


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Suz
    Utting, Germany
    8/4/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An Enjoyment"
    Any additional comments?

    The many excellent reviews are well deserved! The story is clever and compelling. The narration of John le Carre a treat.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Matthew
    United Kingdom
    5/6/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great story, terrible ending"

    This is classic John le Carré: an intense, gripping thriller which doesn't need Michael Bay style action to keep you on edge. A 'spy procedural' if you like, and nobody does it better.

    What a shocking ending, though! Without revealing any specifics, there are several ways the plot could go at the end of the book. He didn't pick one; he just stopped. I'm sure he would argue that it's down to the reader to decide what should have happened next, but if I wanted to write my own story I wouldn't have bought his book. After an otherwise top-notch book I found it intensely annoying.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Benjamin
    Hereford, United Kingdom
    4/27/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Superb"

    Loved it.
    Narration by the author was fantastic
    Hopefully more to come from these characters

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sarah
    4/23/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Le Carre tells a subtle and modern story."

    Le Carre is famous for Smiley's People, set in a world with a clear, definable enemy. This book is not like that, although it retains some familiar "types", for instance, Foreign Office men of a certain class. However, it deals with the enemy within, more than the enemy without. It tells a story which balances the unaccountability of privatised security and the struggle between the opposing values of profit and of personal morality, and which better serves the country. It is set in the U.K. and, briefly, in Gibraltar. It starts with covert operation to capture a terrorist and, three years later, the fallout from that operation. Although set in a modern U.K., it is a satisfying, old fashioned political thriller. I would describe it as an intelligent "holiday read" and most enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • R D Droy
    3/12/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Absorbing thriller"
    Where does A Delicate Truth rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is a gripping thriller which kept my interest throughout the book. Well plotted with excellent use of language made it a stimulating read.


    Have you listened to any of John le Carré’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    Brilliant narration by the author which really brought the book to life. His accents for some of the characters seemed very realistic. Nice variation in pace to match the mood of the scene.


    Any additional comments?

    Definitely worth a listen. May well read more from the author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kevin Viney
    Somerset
    2/24/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "All too believable?"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes I would be happy to recommend this book. The plot is intriguing and Le Carre is a master storyteller as well as being an excellent narrator in this case.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The structure of the plot / story line kept me guessing throughout while constantly giving me new relevant information to consider.


    What about John le Carré’s performance did you like?

    Le Carre read his own book well.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    There is a moment of despair where it seems all the corrupt forces within the British establishment described seem to have triumphed despite the most appalling circumstances. It is moving and thought provoking not just for the character to whom it occurs.


    Any additional comments?

    Read and enjoy.
    As usual Le Carre doesn't disappoint.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Max Feilden
    Uk
    2/16/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not my type of story"

    I didn't like the movie Tinker tailor soldier spy and this book by the same author is very much along the same lines. Great if you're into that type of thing but I found it very slow. Overall a very average book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • KathrynS
    Beijing, China
    2/16/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Subtle and engrossing"
    Any additional comments?

    Le Carre's tale a of a man with a conscience is intriguing and subtle. Toby Bell, an ambitious civil servant in the foreign office, is drawn into a cover-up that feels topical and could be realistic. Bell's character is interesting, but I was left feeling that I didn't truly understand his motivation. The character that I found most compelling was Jeb, and the description of his emergence, and meeting with 'Paul', is fantastic as le Carre gives a wonderful impression of the suspension of time in those moments. The novel is written with le Carre's usual mastery, and builds to a crescendo that engages. Le Carre reads extremely well, and I was very impressed by his range of accents!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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