A Delicate Truth: A Novel [NOOK Book]

Overview

A counter-terrorist operation, codenamed Wildlife, is being mounted on the British crown colony of Gibraltar. Its purpose: to capture and abduct a high-value jihadist arms buyer. Its authors: an ambitious Foreign Office Minister, a private defense contractor who is also his bosom friend, and a shady American CIA operative of the evangelical far-right. So delicate is the operation that even the Minister?s personal private secretary, Toby Bell, ...
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A Delicate Truth: A Novel

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Overview

A counter-terrorist operation, codenamed Wildlife, is being mounted on the British crown colony of Gibraltar. Its purpose: to capture and abduct a high-value jihadist arms buyer. Its authors: an ambitious Foreign Office Minister, a private defense contractor who is also his bosom friend, and a shady American CIA operative of the evangelical far-right. So delicate is the operation that even the Minister’s personal private secretary, Toby Bell, is not cleared for it.

Three years later, a disgraced Special Forces Soldier delivers a message from the dead. Was Operation Wildlife the success it was cracked up to be—or a human tragedy that was ruthlessly covered up? Summoned by Sir Christopher (“Kit”) Probyn, retired British diplomat, to his decaying Cornish manor house, and closely observed by Kit’s daughter, Emily, Toby must choose between his conscience and duty to his Service. If the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing, how can he keep silent?


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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

The author of The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, Smiley's People, and The Constant Gardener should need no introduction to readers on any side of any ocean. His twenty-third novel shows that this octogenarian and former MI6 agent is not content to do retreads of the Cold War espionage thrillers that made him famous. A Delicate Truth takes us in a Gibraltar counter-terrorism operation concocted by British foreign minister, an ambitious private defense contractor, and a zealot, corrupt CIA agent. That it comes to no good might not surprise anyone, but what happens next certainly will.

Library Journal
As he approaches the microphone, he adjusts his tie as well as his accent, with just a hint of his Glaswegian upbringing on show, but not too much, of course. Man of the people. "Allegations have been made concerning an initiative undertaken by New Labour, supposedly in concert with the U.S. government and with the support of a fundamentalist U.S. conglomerate on the soil of gallant Gibraltar. I'm here to tell you unequivocally that no such initiative was sponsored by the British government," he lies, and takes a sip of water. Le Carré, the author of such 20th-century classics as The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, has nothing left to prove except that he can still be stung into turning out suspenseful, totally convincing political object lessons, as in his attack on the pharmaceutical industry in 2001's The Constant Gardener. His target of choice here is the mendacity of the British government and the easy camaraderie between the public and private sectors. VERDICT This is a guaranteed hair-raising cerebral fright, especially for anyone who enjoyed Robert Harris's The Ghost or who just knows his or her email account has been hacked. [See Prepub Alert, 11/12/12.]—Bob Lunn, Kansas City, MO
Library Journal
Toby Bell, the foreign office minister's private secretary, tries to determine whether a 2008 counterterrorist operation aimed at abducting a jihadist arms buyer went awry. Le Carré's scenarios are up-to-date as his understanding of political intrigue is timeless.
Kirkus Reviews
The distinguished chronicler of Cold War espionage and its costs casts his cold eye on the fog of war and its legacy when the war sets terrorists against the mercenaries and independent contractors to whom international security has been farmed out. A colorless midlevel civil servant is plucked from the anonymous ranks of the Foreign Office, given a wafer-thin cover identity as statistician Paul Anderson and packed off to Gibraltar, where he's to serve as the eyes and ears and, mainly, the yea or nay of rising Member of Parliament Fergus Quinn, who can't afford to be directly connected to Operation Wildlife. On the crucial night the forces in question are to disrupt an arms deal and grab a jihadist purchaser, both Paul and Jeb Owens, the senior military commander on the ground, smell a rat and advise against completing the operation. But they're overridden by Quinn, who says, "I recommend but do not command" that Operation Wildlife be completed. Shortly after its execution, Paul, promised "[m]edals all round," is bundled back into a plane bound for home. Sure enough, he emerges from the hush-hush affair with a knighthood and the unspoken thanks of a grateful monarch. Three years later, however, he happens to run into Jeb and hears the ruined soldier tell a decidedly less glorious story of the operation that involves extraordinary rendition, a dead mother and child, and a callous coverup. At the same time, Quinn's Private Secretary Toby Bell also becomes painfully aware of irregularities in the official record and confronts Jay Crispin, the Houston-based head of the private intelligence firm Ethical Outcomes, for answers. What he gets instead are more questions and personal danger. Resolutely keeping potential action sequences just offstage, le Carré (Our Kind of Traitor, 2010, etc.) focuses instead on the moral rot and creeping terror barely concealed by the affable old-boy blather that marks the pillars of the intelligence community.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101618028
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 5/7/2013
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 32,299
  • File size: 560 KB

Meet the Author


New York Times bestselling author John le Carré (A Delicate Truth and Spy Who Came in from the Cold) was born in 1931 and attended the universities of Bern and Oxford. He taught at Eton and served briefly in British Intelligence during the Cold War. For the last fifty years he has lived by his pen. He divides his time between London and Cornwall.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 34 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(15)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(7)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 34 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2013

    A Delicate Truth is a total joy to read. Classic in style while

    A Delicate Truth is a total joy to read. Classic in style while remaining current with wonderful characters as only le Carre can create.

    The exploration of ' soldiers for hire' supported financially by wealthy political blocs with an agenda is fascinating and their collaboration with duplicitous politicians elected to 'serve' from both sides of the ocean is perfection. As always le Carre has a deft understanding of the capacity for those in power to justify anything and for those who serve to be outraged and sometimes do something. I know I will read this again as I have so many of le Carre's creations, just to savor his style and descriptive sentences -such beautiful sentences- that make one go back just to taste them again !

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2013

    Awful

    Have been reading Le Carre for 20+ years. This book is the worst. Almost incomprehensible plot.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 8, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    In the present atmosphere of clandestine operations, the result

    In the present atmosphere of clandestine operations, the result of which the public has been ill-informed and too often kept in the dark, John Le Carre has fashioned a novel built around a bungled black op covered up for three years. The story begins with the hatching of “Operation Wildfire,” comprising British special force soldiers and American mercenaries employed by a private company. The aim is to capture an arms dealer who, according to intelligence, is to visit the British colony of Gibraltar.

    A Foreign Office functionary is selected to be the on-the-spot eyes-and-ears for a minister of Her Majesty, nominally in charge of the operation. Like many such actions, it results in failure, but is declared a total success, despite the fact that two innocents are killed and the subject never captured. Three years later, various persons, directly or tangentially, separately begin to question the silence and attempt to uncover the facts. The promised “transparency” never seems to arrive.

    After a somewhat muddled beginning, in which Mr. Le Carre jumps all around, a bit confusing to the reader, he begins to move the plot straightforwardly and with dispatch. The author raises the basic question of right and wrong, also lambasting the use of private armies to wage “little wars” around the globe and old boy networks where mistakes are covered up and witnesses bought off. A topic that is, unhappily, very timely.

    Recommended.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2013

    ?????????

    Like a Seinfeld (sic) TV show, about nothing!! Nothing happens, no
    resolution, stupid ending!! I have read everything Le Carre has
    ever written and I think maybe he is deceased and they brought in
    a ghost writer who couldn't figure out how to end it so he just stopped
    and put it up for sale.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2013

    Yet again, many of the ratings, good and bad, are by texters vis

    Yet again, many of the ratings, good and bad, are by texters visiting among themselves. None of them reflect actual readers views. To give a book 5 stars or 1 star just because you have to rate to review, is ridiculous. It's time BN starts taking this book review page seriously and reviews the 'reviews' before they are posted. Everyone - start flagging the texters as 'not helpful' and report the review as off topic or inappropriate content.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 12, 2013

    Vintage Le Carre

    A very fine example of the kind of self-serving chicanery that may never see the light of day. One has to wonder whether or not "fiction" is a vehicle to reveal a "truth".

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2013

    I am 71 years old and have read all my adult life. I read about

    I am 71 years old and have read all my adult life. I read about 100 books a year. A Delicate Truth is possibly the WORST book I have ever read. I would rate it below 1 star.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 17, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    This is a fabulous read. If you like well-plotted novels with me

    This is a fabulous read. If you like well-plotted novels with memorable characters, you'll love this book. Le Carre has never been better. Dale

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 7, 2013

    Vintage LeCarre'

    This is the LeCarre' that I haven't seen since the Smiley series. Great read. Great new character.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 2, 2013

    a fine le Carre

    le Carre
    returns to the yarns and convoluted stories which we so much enjoy. His characters are believable and true to form . There are no great surprises but a warm feeling of a good read .

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2013

    *****

    Excellent read

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2013

    Typical Le Carre. Liked very much.

    I had to work to read this book but it was worth it. The problem was the many characters he introduced. I finally kept a written list of their names and referred to the list when I got confused.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2014

    Exceptional.  Would that our elected leaders would read it.

    Exceptional.  Would that our elected leaders would read it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2013

    Return to fine form This is Le Carré's best novel since The Cons

    Return to fine form
    This is Le Carré's best novel since The Constant Gardener. He is my favorite contemporary writer, and I read all his books. In my opinion, Le Carré's output was somewhat erratic in late 80s and 90s, as the Cold War ended. Still fine novels, interesting reads, but not on par with his Smiley classics of 1970s. Then, Le Carré had a hit in The Constant Gardener - his best novel, I think, since The Little Drummer Girl. It was followed by a number of rather less enticing stories. And now, finally, A Delicate Truth: edgy, well-constructed, spot-on story of post-recession, post-privacy, post-democracy world of corporate power that we live in. This is just as relevant as The Constant Gardener was 12 years ago and, if anything, is even better laid out, but just as chillingly realistic.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2013

    Hunter's Story: Chapter Three

    †ONE WEEK LATER† "Are you COMPLETELY sure it was her?" asked Nightstar. "Yes," said Sunsetfire. "I proved it." Nightgod closed his eyes. "Not during the fight with Darkness..." Nightgod knew that once he did this, there would be no going back, but he had no other choice. He had to kill the imposter. "Oceanblaze! Watch the camp" Nightgod said. Nightgod walked into the nursery, claws unsheathed.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2013

    Andrea

    Hey

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2013

    Karson

    Where should we go?

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2013

    Ashley to All

    Has anybody seen Alex? I was supposed to talk to her but my wifi was messed up.

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2013

    Tiff

    Where did everyone go? Lol

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2013

    NEVER RECEIVED THE BOOK.

    NEVER RECEIVED THE BOOK. PAYMENT WAS TAKEN OUT OF MY ACCOUNT HOWEVER NEVER RECEIVED BOOK.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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