Our Kind of TraitorBook - 2010
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For nearly half a century, John le Carré's limitless imagination has enthralled millions of readers and moviegoers around the globe. From the cold war to the bitter fruits of colonialism to unrest in the Middle East, he has reinvented the spy novel again and again. Now, le Carré makes his Viking debut with a stunning tour-de- force that only a craftsman of his caliber could pen. As menacing and flawlessly paced as The Little Drummer Girl and as morally complex as The Constant Gardener, Our Kind of Traitor is signature le Carré.
Perry and Gail are idealistic and very much in love when they splurge on a tennis vacation at a posh beach resort in Antigua. But the charm begins to pall when a big-time Russian money launderer enlists their help to defect. In exchange for amnesty, Dima is ready to rat out his vory (Russian criminal brotherhood) compatriots and expose corruption throughout the so-called legitimate financial and political worlds. Soon, the guileless couple find themselves pawns in a deadly endgame whose outcome will be determined by the victor of the British Secret Service's ruthless internecine battles.
Vacationing at a posh tennis resort in Antigua, Perry and Gail are recruited by big-time Russian money launderer Dima to help him defect, an arrangement for which Dima promises to expose financial corruption but renders the hapless couple pawns in a deadly international scheme.
"In the wake of the collapse of Lehman Brothers and with Britain on the brink of economic ruin, a young English couple takes a tennis vacation in Antigua. There they meet Dima, a Russian who styles himself the world's number one money launderer. Dima wants, among other things, a game of tennis. Back in London, the couple is subjected to an all-night interrogation by the British Secret Service, which also needs their help. Their acquiescence will lead them on a precarious journey through Paris to a safe house in Switzerland, helpless pawns in a game of nations that reveals the unholy alliances between the Russian mafia, the City of London, the government and the competing factions of the British Secret Service"--Cover, p. 2.
From the critics
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The husband and wife, not the images of Ewan McGregor and Naomie Harris in the film:
Perry and Gail made a strikingly attractive pair. Nature had provided Gail with long, shapely legs and arms, high, small breasts, a lissom body, English skin, fine gold hair and a smile to light the gloomiest corners of life. Perry had a different sort of Englishness, being lank and at first sight dislocated, with a long neck and prominent Adam’s apple. His stride was ungainly, he seemed to topple and his ears protruded. At his State school he had been awarded the nickname of Giraffe, until those unwise enough to use it learned their lesson. But with manhood he had acquired—unconsciously, which only made it more impressive-a precarious but undoubted grace. He had a mop of brown curls, a wide, freckled forehead, and large, bespectacled eyes that gave out an air of angelic perplexity.
Perry the closet sybarite who treated himself to unpredictable bursts of luxury before hurrying back to his garret.
‘I’ll do it for Dima. I’ll even do it for you people. But I’ll do it alone or not at all.’
Luke has long ago given up trying to judge the world by its face. He has studied these faces numberless times, but still finds nothing in them he wouldn’t find across the desk from him in any Hampstead estate agent’s office, or in any gathering of black-suited, black-brief-cased, business types in the bar of any smart hotel from Moscow to Bogotá.
‘You’re on record as believing that our green and pleasant land is in dire need of saving from itself. I happen to share that opinion. I’ve studied the disease, I’ve lived in the swamp. It is my informed conclusion that we are suffering, as an ex-great nation, from top-down corporate rot. And that’s not just the judgement of an ailing old fart. A lot of people in my Service make a profession of not seeing things in black and white. Do not confuse me with them. I’m a late-onset, red-toothed radical with balls. Still with me?’
He went to bed, turned on the BBC World News and switched it off again. Half-truths. Quarter-truths.
Aubrey Longrigg was balding, mean and beaky, as became a man famous for his intolerance of lesser minds than his own. Under the Adriatic sun, his unappetizing features have turned a flaming pink, and the rimless spectacles do little to alter the impression of a fifty-year-old bank clerk—unless, like Luke, you have heard tales of the restless ambition that drives him, the unforgiving intellect that had made the fourth floor a swirling hothouse of innovative ideas and feuding barons, and of his improbable attraction to a certain kind of woman—the kind presumably that gets a kick out of being intellectually belittled—
Why on earth a former official from the British Embassy in Bogotá should have been sharing the plane of a ‘dubious Russian Swiss-based minigarch’, even the red-top press was at a loss to explain. Was it sex? Was it drugs? Was it arms? For want of a shred of evidence it was none of them. Terror, the great catch-all these days, has also been considered, but rejected out of hand. No group has claimed responsibility.
Delving in her handbag, she unearthed her passport and the tickets and gave them to the uniformed policeman, who examined them with that extra slowness that policemen all over the world are taught to exhibit in order to raise the stress level of honest citizens.
The Service was his mother and father and his bit of God as well, even if its ways were sometimes imponderable.
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Stage actress & pro Palestinian Charlie is recruited by the Israelis to pose as a Palestinian terrorist. Gripping narrative.
While on a romantic getaway in Antigua, couple Perry and Gail meet a Russian businessman who calls himself Dima, and his family. After a game of tennis, Dima, out of the blue asks Perry to talk to British Secret Services at him wiling to trade Russian mafia secrets in exchange for sanctuary for him and his family in England. He also says that he's the "world's best money launderer." After Perry gives this information to the Secret Service, they suddenly hire him and Gail to go undercover and meet Dima again in order to get more information on Dima's life and business. This is something that will take the couple from Lonson, to Paris, to Switzerland. How far will Perry and Gail go to get these answers. The only easy thing they know about this task is the main rule: be innocent. Pbbbtt, for these two, not a problem!
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