A corporate lawyer from the House of Single & Single is shot dead in cold blood on a Turkish hillside for crimes that he does not understand. A children's entertainer in Devon is hauled to his local bank late at night to explain a monumental influx of cash. A Russian freighter is arrested in the Black Sea. A celebrated London financier has disappeared into thin air. A British customs officer is on a trail of corruption and murder. This is an extraordinary new novel of love, deceit, family and the triumph of humanity. On le Carre's roller-coaster, we hurtle from a seaside haven in Devon through the sophisticated jungle of West End wheeler-dealing, the crime-driven streets of post-Communist Russia to a billionaires' fastness on the banks of the Bosphorus and a secret paradise in the High Caucasus. But SINGLE & SINGLE is above all a thrilling journey of the contemporary human heart - intimate, magical, riotous and subtly architected, showing us John le Carre at the height of his dramatic and creative powers.
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A lawyer from the House of Single & Single is shot dead on a Turkish hillside for crimes he does not understand. A children's entertainer in Devon is forced to explain a huge influx of cash, and a London financier disappears without trace. Love, deceit and family weave these events together.Review:
On a Turkish hillside, ex-Communist mobsters shatter the skull of a corrupt English lawyer. In a sleepy English village, the authorities ask a lonely children's magician how come £5,000,030 sterling just got anonymously deposited in his baby daughter's bank account. With machine-like logic and soulful literary magic, John le Carré links these two events in Single & Single, a stay-up-all-night thriller.
The magician is Oliver Single, the tormented son of Tiger Single, a rogue banker the Financial Times calls "the knight errant of Gorbachev's New East." In fact, Tiger is sinking his fangs into that crucial one-tenth of world trade free of pesky regulations--illegal drugs--and secretly selling donated disaster-relief blood. Mum's the word in Tiger's mob: as the lawyer's executioner notes, "Is not convenient to hear that American capitalists are bleeding poor nations literally."
Oliver comes in from the cold to help spymaster Brock track Tiger down. That £30 sterling signified Judas's silver, but Oliver yearns to save Tiger's life, too. Le Carré wizardly juggles dozens of characters in a zigzag, globetrotting plot. You-are-there realism, narrative drive, pitch-perfect dialog--why can't movies be this good? Like lightning, le Carré's metaphors both dazzle and blazingly illuminate the world.
Ex-spy le Carré was there when the Berlin Wall went up, and his spy craft is legendarily realistic. His female spy/love interest is less so--the opposite of a femme fatale, she might be termed a "deus sex machina." But the book's crucial father-son relationship is quite real, because, like the irresistible villain of A Perfect Spy, Tiger is based on le Carré's own con-man dad. The cold war is over, but le Carré is hot. And he will endure. --Tim Appelo
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Book Description Penguin Group Canada, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0143171100