Agent Running in the Field- By John LeCarré

Book Reviews

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

I must say I love spy novels, those that are really classic style, where the incumbents communicate leaving special bags in shopping malls, or a red x on a rubbish bin in the middle of the street, or use braille on a paper that has been ironed against a piece of cloth. And John LeCarré was the special guy for these type of novels. I read this book because I saw his interview in the Spanish Newspaper El Pais —his real name is David John Moore Cornwell—. He was brilliant. I loved his political audacity, the way he critized his government, nothing politically-correct-out-of-the-sort. Being part of the MI6 in the 1950s and 1960s, he had great material to outsmart his critics and better yet to fed his novels.

Agent Running in the Field was his last book before he passed away in 2020. It was set in a political right context, involving the espionage leaders of the Cold War, United States, UK and Russia. It translated the inconformity of the author with Brexit and the way his government has handled the relationship with the rest of Europe during the years. LeCarré is an outspoken critic of Trump and the passive role the UK has played with United States during his presidency. All of this has been well reflected in the book.

The story also involves friendship and love. It seems to me that his message is that these undercover lives are set to fail sooner or later, for quite some reasons, including political disagreements of the agents with their governments, fear for their families and friends, or emotions that can damage their role in those missions.

It happens to the protagonist of this story, Nat, who saw how a good friend was about to be prosecuted for treason, with reason, but he got caught in the plot unexpectedly and innocently, after many years being a member of the British Secret Service Intelligence Agency. He developed well this friendship saga, however the spy adventure gets spicy basically from further into the middle of the book and at the end nobody wins. Especially not Nat. I personally think the plot could have started since the beginning, as it makes the reader wait a lot for the adventure to start. I must say that when it does start is very entertaining  and full of suspense, until it gets to the end, where it gets weak again.

I want to give a second chance to LeCarré with another of his books. Critics of this author are great and I want to read a more classical spy book. This review would keep open until further notice.


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