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
"One of those writers who will be read a century from now" (Robert Harris)
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Narration by the author was fantastic
Hopefully more to come from these characters
"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.
This is a gripping thriller which kept my interest throughout the book. Well plotted with excellent use of language made it a stimulating read.
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.
Definitely worth a listen. May well read more from the author.
"All too believable?"
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.
The structure of the plot / story line kept me guessing throughout while constantly giving me new relevant information to consider.
Le Carre read his own book well.
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.
Read and enjoy.
As usual Le Carre doesn't disappoint.
"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
"Subtle and engrossing"
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!
"Decent Story, Brilliant Narration"
The story was well-written and enjoyable, but I felt a bit let down by the abrupt end (as others have mentioned). The narration, however, was superb. I wish John le Carré did more narration - he managed it all, male, female, many accents, and not one of his voices seemed OTT or annoying to me, which is very rare! I'm impressed. All in all, well worth a credit.
his best novel in years and I loved the author's reading even more than Peter Guillam's
"Took a while to get going."
To me it took a while to get going, Then I started to really enjoy it.Unfortunately it ended too abruptly. I'd have like to have known more..
"Le Carre has not been blunted."
In the upper ranks
All of JLC's work. But I think it also has an original tone.
JLC's narration was excellent and a revelation. He has a great and convincing range of accents. Perfectly narrated drawing one onto the story.
Clumsy Kit's well meaning actions.
Convincingly set in very recent past.
I liked the end.
I would happily read more about the hero.
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