A Delicate Truth

Le Carré, John

Book - 2013
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
A Delicate Truth
2008. 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. Cornwall, UK, 2011. 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 beautiful daughter, Emily, Toby must choose between his conscience and duty to his Service. If the only thing necessary to the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing, how can he keep silent?

Publisher: New York : Viking, 2013.
ISBN: 9780670014897
Characteristics: 309 p. ;,24 cm.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Feb 24, 2014
  • deweyswakms rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This was my 1st leCarre book in a couple of decades. I had forgotten what a splendid writer he is as I quickly found I couldn't put the book down. He's the master of the British bureaucrats and how hard it is to crack the code, and do the right thing. I'm going back and reread his earlier works.

Oct 14, 2013
  • nlamm rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Overall quite good. Characters (esp. villains) almost straight out of a Stanley Kubrick film - manic.

Sep 27, 2013
  • dirtbag1 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Even a writer as gifted as Le Carre can't save weak story. Worth reading just to enjoy the great literary style.

Sep 17, 2013
  • gloryb rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Keep reading even though the different points of view and flashbacks may puzzle you. The author helps you follow the story and the plot will become clear as you read along. Story tension is best..the climax..just before the novel comes to an "end", an ending to be resumed in another book, no doubt, unfortunately. I found the idea of the novel an interesting one b/c of recent news coverage of whistle blowers: why they do it, how they get the info, what happens to them and coverups.

Sep 04, 2013
  • nboychuk rated this: 1.5 stars out of 5.

The opening was captivating but I had to quit as the whole plot, purpose, many characters, poor development, and so many more literary worthy books awaiting my reading, I quit half way through.

Aug 08, 2013
  • colleenkouwenberg rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

This book had very little discernible plot nor development of characters. It was extremely difficult to follow and jumped all over the place. I've read books that were in different time eras and were told by different characters from different points of view, but this book was just a jumble. My husband, who reads deeply, abandoned it after some effort.

Jul 04, 2013
  • frogmarch rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Kept me turning the pages right upto the final page. What will Toby and Emma do in the sequel?

Jul 02, 2013

this started slowly for me, but quickly captured me, and held me captive to the end. and beyond.

Jul 01, 2013
  • bette108 rated this: 1.5 stars out of 5.

This story started great and then became convoluted by the introduction of so many new characters and places that I couldn't follow it, and eventually gave up.

Jun 08, 2013
  • JimLoter rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This is probably my favorite post-Cold War John Le Carré novel since The Tailor of Panama. It is very much a political thriller rather than a "spy novel," and for once the action takes place entirely on British soil. On display here is the author's righteous anger about the Iraq war, the "War on Terror," the death of civil liberties, the privatization of the military, and the loss of government accountability. Frustration with bureaucracy and corruption within the government and civil service has always been a theme with Le Carré, but this time "the system" has grown to be nearly monolithic and omnipotent. Whereas George Smiley always had allies and a solid moral center in his underground quests to ferret out the mole or strike blows against Moscow Center, protagonist Toby Bell is virtually alone and totally outmatched in this new world of well-funded amoral mercenaries and the government cronies who allow them to call the shots. He is the impotent shadow of Le Carré's former spy heroes for the 21st Century. The book is at times gripping, funny, touching, and infuriating but never dull.

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add a Notice

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Find it at CLEVNET