Title: A Delicate Truth
Author: John LeCarré
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
You don’t read anything by LeCarré to get warm happy feelings. He unflinchingly portrays the seediness, cynicism, and brutality of the (under)world of British intelligence. His novels set during the Cold War are frequently depressing but brilliant. This book, with a more current setting is unmistakably LeCarré, but doesn’t measure up to the likes of The Spy Who Came in from the Cold or Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.
The book centers around an attempt at whistleblowing after a questionable operation to grab a high-level jihadist is conducted jointly by British special forces and an American-owned private security firm (which is basically Blackwater if it were owned by a far right Evangelical Christian). It wasn’t bad, but the characters’ motivations and lack of professionalism (and much higher level of profanity than usual) didn’t really grab me. Additionally, the people from the Blackwater-like mercenary group sometimes seemed more like caricatures than believable characters. Overall: not a complete bomb, but not his best work.