Smiley’s People by John le Carre

This is the third entry in John le Carre’s spy trilogy that began with the great Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. I tried to read the second entry in the trilogy, The Honorable Schoolboy, but found it slow-moving and uninteresting (le Carre later said that he should have reduced the role of the George Smiley character in The Honorable Schoolboy; I thought Smiley was the only interesting thing in the book.)

Smiley’s People begins with the investigation of a murder in London. This leads Smiley to come out of retirement again and attempt to get some Russians, including a very important one, to defect. Although the story held my interest throughout, the ending is anti-climactic. There could have easily been a fourth novel in the series, considering how this one ends. Unfortunately for those of us who enjoy George Smiley, that didn’t happen. (4/7/11)