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John Le Carre’s new novel is a brilliant treat for loyal fans

A Legacy of Spies sees George Smiley return to print

By Jay Elwes   October 2017

George Smiley played by Alec Guiness.

This is a strange book—a kind of prequel to The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, told partly in flashback. Lawyers acting for MI6 are investigating the operation described in The Cold. People were killed and the service is worried about threats of litigation. They track down the retired spy Peter Guillam and as they interrogate him about his involvement, the story unfolds.

Formally it’s quite unusual, as personal reminiscences are mixed up with long quotations from intelligence reports. More jarring,…

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