(hb; 1961, 1962: first novel in the George Smiley series)
From the inside flap:
"It was after a routine check by security that Fennan of the Foreign Office shot himself. George Smiley, the cleverest and most self-effacing man in Security, uncovers new facts in an exciting and dangerous investigation."
Call is a political murder mystery.
An unassuming, quietly feisty and clever George Smiley begins to solve the strange, badly-staged "suicide" of a fellow bureaucrat, who'd previously been suspected of low-level espionage.
The whos in this mystery aren't important; the whys and the hows are. Le Carré intentionally frames the slyly subversive Call this way, basing the novel's events and motives on the characters' personal histories.
Le Carré's books, whose tones are often set by Cold War era politics and British/aristocratic attitudes, aren't quick-thrill works: they're steady-but-intriguing ramp-ups that immerse readers - or at least, this reader - in the environs of a long-running spy game whose players change over time, even as the game continues.
Worthwhile read, this.
Followed, in a loosely-connected fashion, by A Murder of Quality.
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