LeCarré’s first novel. This fine mystery-thriller prefigures much of what is to come, especially the wonderful Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. This encounter encounter with George Smiley, Peter Guillam, and Inspector Mendel is a terrific little story, a fine little mechanism of deception. Part of the mechanism has rusted because the book’s original audience, in 1961, was less immersed in feminism than we are. Nonetheless, a terrific little book.