With unhappy memories of dinosaur rock bands trading on their illustrious past, I wondered if this was a literary version. ‘Is it possible that Smiley et al can be successfully mined?’ was a nagging thought before I opened the book. Why did I open the book at all? Ah! Well I’m a fan and fans go to dinosaur rock concerts and sing along and are young again.
Legacy of Spies successfully ages the characters which we’re all familiar with. Ancient battlegrounds are reviewed, not as masterpieces of deception, but as possible crime scenes. Forensic examination of memos, debriefing notes and carefully fading memories could be tedious in anybody else’s hands but le Carre is a master. A certain level of commitment is necessary but the reader is richly rewarded. My only caveat is the lame ending.
Why you should read this book: It’s a masterly footnote to a wonderful series.
Why you shouldn’t read this book: You’re not a le Carre fan.