Tuesday, October 18, 2011

{read: spy thriller} Our Kind of Traitor by John le Carre

In honor of the upcoming movie remake of the John Le Carre 1970s classic Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy novel, I offer this review of his most recent spy thriller.

This is the first book by le Carre that I've read, and I would definitely pick up another one. The plot was engaging and the characters were real enough to be interesting even though they felt a little two dimensional at times. I wanted to be entertained, and I was. Two young English people, Gail and Perry, go on holiday only to meet up with Dima, a self-proclaimed Russian mobster looking for asylum. He latches onto Gail and Perry, who then get tangled up in a web of British intelligence officers and their plans for Dima and his family.

** spoiler alert **

At the end, I had a premonition of bad things as soon as Luke said that he was looking forward to the beginning and the ending of what was to come. By the time they got to the airport, though, I thought they were safe and the explosion took me by surprise. I liked the ending, although I think it left many unanswered questions. Some are easy (who did it? probably the Prince, although it's also possible it was just an accident or that it was rigged by the British people who didn't want the whole thing to come to light) and others are more complex (what happens to Tamara and the family? where do they go now? What do Gail and Perry do?). Le Carre doesn't get into any of that. Dima is dead. The story is over. I have to admire an author who doesn't try to tie up all the loose ends in a pretty little bow.

Our Kind of Traitor by John le Carre (Viking Adult, 2010)
My rating: 4 stars

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