A relatively minor work from le Carre (The Constant Gardener), with less at stake than usual, this fairly straightforward self-read novel is nonetheless compelling for its vividly drawn characters, especially disenchanted British banker Tommy Brue and idealistic civil rights lawyer Annabel Richter. Le Carre lucidly and adeptly handles both the various accents and the pauses and emphases; indeed, the words and phrases he stresses help to clarify motivations even his characters do not fully grasp. Recommended for popular collections. [Unabridged retail-edition CD and digital download available from S. & S. Audio, with Roger Rees reading; watch the book trailer at www.simonsays.com; the Scribner hc was "highly recommended," LJ 9/1/08.-Ed.]-Michael Adams, CUNY Graduate Ctr. Lib. Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
When boxer Melik Oktay and his mother, both Turkish Muslims living in Hamburg, take in a street person calling himself Issa at the start of this morally complex thriller from le CarrE (The Mission Song), they set off a chain of events implicating intelligence agencies from three countries. Issa, who claims to be a Muslim medical student, is, in fact, a wanted terrorist and the son of Grigori Karpov, a Red Army colonel whose considerable assets are concealed in a mysterious portfolio at a Hamburg bank. Tommy Brue, a stereotypical flawed everyman caught up in the machinations of spies and counterspies, enters the plot when Issa's attorney seeks to claim these assets. The book works best in its depiction of the rivalries besetting even post-9/11 intelligence agencies that should be allies, but none of the characters is as memorable as George Smiley or Magnus Pym. Still, even a lesser le CarrE effort is far above the common run of thrillers. (Oct.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.