Another John Le CarrÃ©, Call for the Dead blends espionage with procedural. Less than 150 pages in paperback, but a fine read. George Smiley’s introduction is pedestrian: even the opening chapter’s title is dry, “A brief history of George Smiley.”
Wonder if Le CarrÃ© had any premonition he would be writing novels with Smiley involved one way or another for decades?
Call for the Dead takes place all in England. The interaction between the spy service and the police is delicate, and successful only because of personal connections overcoming institutional edginess (not quite outright rivalry). The Spy Who Came In from the Cold harkens back to these events, expanding on an event (turning an East German agent) that isn’t quite there, but could have been.
Whatever. This mystery turns the pages.