A Legacy of Spies

I’ll admit it, I’ve recently taken to reading a lot of mysteries and thrillers, it’s my way of getting away from what’s going on in the world right now. When I’m exhausted by the news, I pick one of these books up. And recently I went back to John LeCarré. A Legacy of Spies is a more recent book of his, and it’s finished retired spies being asked to account for their actions of years before.

It’s a George Smiley book, even though he is a character lurking in the background for the vast majority of the story. Peter Guilliam is the main character here, answering the questions and recounting the story, slowly leading us to the secret that he’s kept for decades.

As is usual for a LeCarré book, I read for quite a while not really knowing how it all fits together and then it slams together in the end with very little falling action. But what I liked about this one was the fact that the characters were having to be honest with themselves about what they did years before and whether that was right or wrong. It’s as if LeCarré is coming to terms with the actions of all those spies he wrote about for years and now stepping back and analyzing if it was all worth it.