Summary

Toby Bell, the foreign office ministers private secretary, tries to determine whether a 2008 counterterrorist operation aimed at abducting a jihadist arms buyer went awry. Le Carres scenarios are up-to-date as his understanding of political intrigue is timeless.


“One of our great writers of moral ambiguity, a tireless explorer of that darkly contradictory no-man’s land.” —Tim Rutten,Los Angeles Times

Nearly five decades ago, John le Carré became an international sensation with the publication of his third novel,The Spy Who Came In from the Cold. His last novel,Our Kind of Traitor, won unanimous critical acclaim and hit theNew York Timesbestseller list just as the Oscar-nominated film version ofTinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spyintroduced a new generation to his chillingly amoral universe.

A Delicate Truthopens in 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?