Tuesday, July 31, 2012
John Le Carre's Latest - A Review of "Our Kind of Traitor"
It is fitting that in the most recent novel that John Le Carre wrote he reveals much about the seamy side of the espionage world that he has inhabited in his professional life, as well as in his literary life. In this meandering tale, a naive couple on vacation in the Caribbean are drawn into a net of intrigue that involves Dima, a cartoonish Russian money launderer who is nearing the end of his options of staying alive.
The couple end ups in a tennis match - both literal and figurative - in which the stakes are very high. The action ricochets from Antigua to London and Paris and then on the the fabled Lauterbrunnen Valley in Switzerland. Along the way, the couple - Perry and Gail- grow to care about Dima's quirky extended family. With the help and quick coaching from British Intelligence, Perry and Gail set out to help Dima execute his escape from his partners in crime and help to engineer his defection to England. The complications are many, and the denouement is surprising, and it serves as a very fitting exclamation point for Le Carre's brilliant career as an espionage novelist par excellence.