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Le Carre is a consistently adept storyteller and his earlier novels now have the added appeal of nostalgia, in this case the civil unrest of the late 1960s. This dramatisation is unusual for a Le Carre spy story both in terms of its protagonist and adversary. The protagonist comes across as far more working class than the usual public school Le Carre spies and the adversary, a resurgent neo-Nazi group, is far less plausible than the Moscow Centre characters we are familiar with from the other novels. But it’s an engaging story and is well worth a listen.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Turn back the clock to 1968. Alan Turner of the British foreign office has been sent to Bonn, city of fog and Beethoven, to investigate what has become of Leo Harting, a minor official. It appears he has disappeared along with some sensitive files. There are grave suspicions that Harting may be linked to neo-fascist agitator, Klaus Karfeld.
With his brusque manner and all-to-direct questions, it doesn't take long for Turner to get right up the noses of those involved, especially the head of embassy security, Rawley Bradfield. He also attracts unwanted attention from Ludwig Siebkron, head of the German Interior Ministry.
Was Harting a hard-working office drone? A bit of a lad who liked the occasional foray into Cologne's night life? A manipulative master of misdirection? A true believer working against American and British interests? As Turner discovers the truth is, as ever, more complicated that anyone suspects.
I listened to this for a diversion during a long commute. It's a time capsule, with the style and attitudes pretty much what one would expect of that era. Hepton and Haigh were good in their roles. The setting may be of added interest if one is familiar with Bonn and Bad Godesberg.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
I have read this book several times, yet this audio version puts the emotional touches in just the right tone to allow us to have a better feel for the implications of possible outcomes. An American like myself might not know or care what goes on in Europe most of the time, and this version helps get past that. It is fiction, but it does touch on history, one best not forgotten.