This is the sixth George Smiley I have read since August. It is also the third of the sub-trilogy that started with Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy.
Overall this is one of the best of the series. If you are not a stickler for reading series in order, then the three best of the series are Tinker, Tailor, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and Smiley’s People.
In Smiley’s People, George Smiley has again retired. At the conclusion of the Honorable Schoolboy, Smiley had lost his shine. He and his people had found Karla’s plot, but the British Intelligence system was in disgrace, they did not capture Karla, Smiley’s agent was killed and the USA had swooped in and claimed the little credit that was left to claim.
But Smiley could not let it go. When he was brought in for background information on a mission he lead, he again found Karla’s trail.
Le Carré is uneven in the way he reveals information in the series. In some books, he reveals the information as he goes along, in others Smiley leaves the reader clues but reveals everything at the end. Smiley’s People was a good balance of revealing enough information to keep up but not the whole.
If you are a fan of spy novels you should read Le Carré. This is essentially the end of the Smiley series. There are other books, but Smiley is more tangential (at least in my understanding) or they are short story collections that are primarily background info.
Other Bookwi.se Reviewed Le Carré books
- Call for the Dead
- A Murder of Quality
- The Spy Who Came In From the Cold
- Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
- The Honorable Schoolboy