John le Carré: The author's official website

A Delicate Truth

A counter-terror operation, codenamed Wildlife, is being mounted in Britain’s most precious colony, Gibraltar. Its purpose: to capture and abduct a high-value jihadist arms-buyer. Its authors: an ambitious Foreign Office Minister, and a private defence contractor who is also his close friend. Kit Probyn, Foreign Office veteran with a safe pair of hands and no previous experience of the dark arts, is to be the Minister’s eyes and ears on the ground. His “red telephone”.

So delicate is the operation that even the Minister’s personal private secretary, Toby Bell, has been kept out of the loop. Suspecting a disastrous conspiracy, Toby attempts to forestall it, but is promptly posted overseas.

Three years on, summoned by Sir Christopher Probyn, retired British diplomat, to his decaying Cornish manor house, and closely watched by Probyn’s daughter Emily, Toby must choose between his conscience and his duty to the Service.

If the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing, how can he keep silent?

“… writing of such quality that it will be read in one hundred years.”
The Daily Mail

“… draws on a career’s worth of literary skill and international analysis… no other writer has charted the public and secret histories of his times”
Mark Lawson, The Guardian

“…a writer of towering gifts…. le Carré is one of the great analysts of the contemporary scene who has a talent to provoke as well as unsettle”
The Independent

“The punchy return from the spy-novel guru… A Delicate Truth is the novel we were waiting for, an exploration of today’s world of politics and finance, dark and multiform, underground and mafia-like, made-up here as a biting and intrepid comedy on power.”
Les Inrockuptibles

“The fiendishly clever structure, the stunning dialogues, the narrative suspense hold the reader’s attention as he witnesses the two heroes’ desperate attempt to establish a truth that others want to suppress by all means.”

Read or download the unabridged first chapter for free here.

Audio excerpts

  • A Delicate Truth Listen to an excerpt from the audiobook, read by John le Carré.

A Delicate Truth