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.


John le Carre's memoir, The Pigeon Tunnel: Stories from My Life, will be available from Viking in September 2016

"A novel that beckons us beyond any and all expectations."--Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post

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?