Our Kind of Traitor
John le Carré
Treachery has always been John le Carré's favourite theme. The world of espionage, even during the Cold War, was never one of absolutes - the enemy as often found within as without. Post-Glasnost, he has explored the many arenas of modern betrayal - Big Pharma, terrorism and now, collusion between global financiers and the high-rollers of the new criminal oligarchy. Perry Makepiece, an Oxford academic, and his barrister girlfriend, Gail, become entangled with a kingpin Russian money-launderer, Dima, after a chance meeting on the island of Antigua. Perry brokers a deal between Dima and British intelligence (hey, it's Oxford): refuge in exchange for vital information about his multi-billion dollar criminal network. Yet as the maverick MI6 team working the case reel their informant in, it becomes doubtful whether the British establishment will want Dima's kind of truth to be told.
Le Carré hits all the right thriller notes, as you would expect from such an old pro. His eye for detail is undiminished (though he still can't write women for toffee) and his anger at scheming apparatchiks of all persuasions is suitably righteous.