The Berlin office under Leamas has not been doing well. One of their best double agents, Karl Riemeck, was gunned down at the border, probably on the orders of the head of the East German spy section, Mundt. Leamas is called back to England for one last job: to "turn" over to the communists himself and get close enough to Mundt to kill him. To do this, he acts as if he's been disgraced -- drinks a lot, assaults a grocer, and lands in jail -- so as to appear ripe for recruiting by the other side. During this stage, he also gets to know a sweet girl named Liz Gold who happens to belong to the Communist Party in Britain. Sure enough, Leamas is approached in England, taken to Holland, and then to East Germany. But there's a hitch: Mundt's second in command, Fiedler, believes Mundt may be a double agent working for Leamas's superiors in England, so he stages a hearing where Leamas is a captive witness, and brings in Liz Gold to pressure him. Taut and trim, this classic 1963 spy novel was an international bestseller that took Le Carre's reputation to the top.
The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus