A Delicate Truth, Paperback
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


"With A Delicate Truth, le Carre has, in a sense, come home. And it's a splendid homecoming...Satisfying, subtle and compelling". (The Times). A counter-terror operation, codenamed Wildlife, is being mounted in Britain's most precious colony, Gibraltar.

Its purpose: to capture a high-value jihadist arms-buyer.

Its authors: an ambitious Foreign Office Minister, and a private defence contractor who is also his close friend.

So delicate is the operation that even the Minister's Private Secretary, Toby Bell, is not cleared for it.

Three years later, when the horrifying truth behind Operation Wildlife is uncovered, Toby will be forced to choose between his conscience and his duty to the Service.

If the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing, how can he keep silent? "A brilliant climax, with sinister deaths, casual torture, wrecked lives and shameful compromises". (Observer). "This is writing of such quality that - as Robert Harris put it - it will be read in one hundred years". (Daily Mail). "Perhaps the most significant novelist of the second half of the twentieth century in Britain". (Ian McEwan).


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Thriller / suspense
  • ISBN: 9780241965184



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It seems to me that the difference between latter-day le Carré and the – well, let's say more vintage stuff, is like the difference between the recent cinema version of Tinker Tailor and the t.v series. There's less depth somehow, the characterization gets lost a bit in the authorial anger that permeates the plot, there's less rich detailing, and you get the feeling this film script won't need much tweaking. Which is by no means to say that A Delicate Truth is not a compulsive pageturner which will make you resent any interruption while you are reading, and although Le Carré's righteous anger against the U.K. and U.S. Governments' sell-out of ethical consideration to corporate and financial ones does indeed scorch the text and leave a smell of burning, that's no bad thing and the book also works as a tautly-written political thriller. Thoroughly enjoyable, and extremely disturbing

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