The newest addition to John le Carré’s extensive list of novels proves that this master of the espionage genre is still at the height of his authorial powers. Filled with Russian spies, financial and political scandals and even a few games of tennis thrown in for good measure, Our Kind of Traitor has all the necessary elements for a rip-roaring, intelligent thriller that never lacks in high-wire suspense.

When young British couple Perry and Gail decided to splurge on a Caribbean tennis holiday, they never imagined their dream vacation could go from fun in the sun to deadly dealings so fast. Without really being sure how it happened, they find themselves inexplicably linked to money-launderer Dima, who has ties to the Russian mafia. He enlists the couple’s aid in seeking amnesty from the British Service in exchange for information concerning corruption in the British banking system. Before they have the chance to say no, Perry and Gail find themselves acting as pawns in a sinister game well beyond their depths, one that will take them on a whirlwind tour through Paris, Switzerland and beyond, always with the British Secret Service nipping at their heels.

Le Carré has managed to capture a snapshot of history and immortalize it in the suspenseful and morally complex Our Kind of Traitor, which is based on a December 2009 article in The Observer claiming that at the height of the economic crisis in 2008, it was drug money keeping the British financial system afloat. A member of the British Foreign Service from 1959 to 1964, le Carré is well-positioned to infuse the thrilling story with the gravitas necessary to set it apart from your dime-a-dozen drugstore pulp fiction. A solid addition to his oeuvre, Our Kind of Traitor does not disappoint, and readers should be prepared for one heck of a ride.

 

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