The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John le Carré

The 50th-anniversary edition of the bestselling novel that launched John le Carré’s career worldwide. In the shadow of the newly erected Berlin Wall, Alec Leamas watches as his last agent is shot dead by East German sentries. For Leamas, the head of Berlin Station, the Cold War is over. As he faces the prospect of retirement or worse—a desk job—Control offers him a unique opportunity for revenge. Assuming the guise of an embittered and dissolute ex-agent, Leamas is set up to trap Mundt, the deputy director of the East German Intelligence Service—with himself as the bait. In the background is George Smiley, ready to make the game play out just as Control wants. Setting a standard that has never been surpassed, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold is a devastating tale of duplicity and espionage.

As a huge fan of detective and espionage thrillers, I’ve always loved John Le Carré’s novels and their adaptations, particularly Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and The Night Manager. When Le Carré passed away in December of last year, I realized it was a great time to remember the author by re-reading his masterpieces, starting with the book that established his career: The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. A Cold War tale full of twists and duplicity, this novel is my favorite that sets up prominent characters of Le Carré’s bibliography, including George Smiley. It’s the perfect thriller to read with a cup of tea at night, especially in the winter cold.

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