Agent Running in the FIeld by John le Carré

Staff Pick

John le Carré has been our greatest chronicler of spycraft in the Cold War era—its intricate rituals, its bureaucratic infighting, and its life-and-death gamesmanship. Agent Running in the Field (Viking, $29) is an up-to-the-minute portrait of a spy in the age of Brexit and Putin. Our narrator is Nat, almost forty-seven, an experienced agent runner, who’s returned to London after many postings, ready to move on—or to reluctantly accept one more job. He agrees to “remodel” a substation, “a dumping ground for…fifth-rate informants.” The only promising asset is Florence, who’s building a case against a Ukrainian oligarch. He’s also adjusting to home life: reconnecting with his wife, Pru, a hardworking lawyer, and playing weekly badminton with Ed, a solitary and disaffected media drone, always ranting against Trump and Brexit. As with all le Carré, the set pieces and dialogues are masterful, mixing humor and menace: particularly memorable are a visit with an old triple agent; a long inter-office interrogation; and a ski-lift conversation where Nat reveals his job to his daughter. This is classic le Carré.

Agent Running in the Field: A Novel By John le Carré Cover Image
ISBN: 9781984878878
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Viking - October 22nd, 2019