The classic Cold War thriller, published as a Penguin Essential for the first time.
Alec Leamas is tired. It’s the 1960s, he’s been out in the cold for years, spying in Berlin for his British masters, and has seen too many good agents murdered for their troubles. Now Control wants to bring him in at last – but only after one final assignment.
He must travel deep into the heart of Communist Germany and betray his country, a job that he will do with his usual cynical professionalism. But when George Smiley tries to help a young woman Leamas has befriended, Leamas’s mission may prove to be the worst thing he could ever have done.
In le Carré’s breakthrough work of 1963, the spy story is reborn as a gritty and terrible tale of men who are caught up in politics beyond their imagining.
’Superbly constructed, with an atmosphere of chilly hell’ J.B. Priestley
’The best spy story I have ever read’ Graham Greene
’The master storyteller … has lost none of his cunning’ A. N. Wilson
’I have re-read The Spy Who Came In From The Cold over and over again since I first encountered it in my teens, just to remind myself how extraordinary a work of fiction can be’ Malcolm Gladwell
’One of those very rare novels that changes the way you look at the world. Unflinching, highly sophisticated, superb’ William Boyd