Mary Ronan Drew's Reviews > Call for the Dead

Call for the Dead by John le Carré
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's review
Jun 11, 2016

it was amazing
Read on June 03, 2012

In 1961 the first of John Le Carre's novels was published, introducing George Smiley, the British Secret Service Agent who over the next couple of decades was to become a household name. In Call for the Dead the story is only tangentially a spy novel; it's really a fairly straightforward murder mystery.

Smiley is asked to interview a man in the Foreign Office, Samuel Fennan, in a routine security check. Fennan has been under suspicion of Communist sympathies but Smiley talks to him as they walk in the park and finds he likes the man and can clear him entirely.

So when Fennan's body is found hung a few days later with a suicide note saying his career is over, Smiley is suspicious. He interviews the man's unassuming wife and doesn't really know what to think until he answers the phone at Fennan's house. It's a call for the dead man - a wake-up call. Who would leave a request for a wake-up call if he was about to commit suicide?

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Reading Progress

10/09 marked as: currently-reading
10/09 "Reading this for the THIRD time. It's extremely well written."
06/11 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Sue (new) - added it

Sue I love your hook in the review!

Mary Ronan Drew I'm really loving the book AGAIN, Sue. The scenes are crisp - they have a beginning and an end and they aren't very long and each one tells us - shows us - something about one of the characters, usually Smiley. I'm now anticipating the rest of his work which I've never read before (except for A Murder of Quality, his second book.)

message 3: by Sue (new) - added it

Sue I haven't read any of them and really should. Well done.

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