Agent Running in the Field is the latest spy novel from the number one New York Times bestselling author John le Carré.
In it, MI6 veteran Nat takes over the management of a London intelligence substation – the Haven, “a dumping ground for resettled defectors of nil value and fifth-rate informants on the skids.” He also befriends a solitary young MI5 agent who is both dead set against the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union and convinced that the United States is locked into a descent into fascism, led by Donald Trump.
Set in Brexit-era Britain, Agent Running in the Field serves both as espionage thriller and biting take on the politics of the day; le Carré is not afraid to express his own anger over the leadership of his country, describing the UK government as ruled by “a minority Tory cabinet of 10th-raters”, and portrays Boris Johnson as then “a pig-ignorant foreign secretary”. An extract from the book has been published over on The Guardian website.
Le Carré’s editor at Viking, Mary Mount, described Agent Running in the Field as “incredibly prescient, and a very emotional book in terms of how connected he feels to the history of Britain and Europe. There’s no looking away, he addresses the very current political crisis.”
Le Carré is a very widely recommended author on Five Books, whose work turns up again and again on discussions of both literary thrillers and espionage more generally. His most recommended titles include The Spy Who Came in From the Cold and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.
Read expert recommendations