Agent Running in the Field, by John le Carre
BADminton, the game of TRAITORS
The last le Carre book. It's not his best, but it's still quite good considering his advanced age, the loss of his long time writing partner, and the topicality of the book. The book is relatively straightforward and quick, as a long time and sophisticated spy, enjoying perhaps the last hurrah of his career, gets accidentally entangled in a web of suspicion due to the actions of a bumbling, Twitter-poisoned oaf. Things end happily and abruptly, there's an unlikely marriage, drinks all around. A few stand out notes: the duets between parents and children, as complicated as any of the spy based interactions. The ambiguity of the novel, as the at least surface-level certainties of the Cold War dissolve into a cross-national web of gradations, sorted almost not by ideology as by temperament. And as usual, the structural complexity of the spy parts of the plot, with doubling and redoubling. Anyway, a fine novel, very perceptive as always from le Carre at an age when most of his cohorts have been completely cordycepted.