Tuesday Intro: Call for the Dead

imageOnce again, I’m linking up again with Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea who hosts a post every Tuesday for people to share the first chapter / paragraph of the book they are reading, or thinking of reading soon. In really enjoy these tasters when I read them on other blogs so wanted to join in.

This week, after reading a lot about John Le Carre this last week or so, and realising I’ve never read any of his books, I’ve picked up Call for the Dead, the first featuring his most famous character George Smiley.  Here’s what it’s about…

25345317After a routine security check by George Smiley, civil servant Samuel Fennan apparently kills himself.

When Smiley finds Circus head Maston is trying to blame him for the man’s death, he begins his own investigation, meeting with Fennan’s widow to find out what could have led him to such desperation. But on the very day that Smiley is ordered off the enquiry he receives an urgent letter from the dead man.

Do the East Germans – and their agents – know more about this man’s death than the Circus previously imagined?

And here’s how it starts…

When Lady Ann Sercomb married George Smiley towards the end of the war she described him to her astonished Mayfair friends as breathtakingly ordinary.  When she left him two years later in favour of a Cuban motor racing driver, she announced enigmatically that if she hadn’t left him then, she never could have done; and Viscount Sawley made a special journey to his club to observe that the cat was out of the bag.

What do you think? Would you keep reading?


  1. I have read a couple of Smiley books quite a while ago – and while I thoroughly enjoyed them, I’m not sure the writing style has stood the test of time… I’ll be interested to hear what you think of this one:)

    1. No you might be right about the style. It is quite formal. Still, I’m hoping the plot shines through.

      1. I look forward to hearing what you make of it:)

  2. I am curious to see your thoughts on this as I haven’t heard of this author but the book sounds interesting. 🙂

    1. You will probably have seen movies based on his books as they are classic spy stories (not sure if you saw The Night Manager recently) but I have never read anything by him.

  3. I’ve never read anything by this author. For some reason I just don’t think he’s for me.

  4. I’ve always meant to read a book by this author. This one sounds good, though I’m wondering if it’s a little dated. I’ve wondered about that with Robert Ludlum’s books as well. Used to love those.

  5. I haven’t read anything by this author, and this is a series I’ve always wanted to explore. Maybe one of these days . . .

    1. It feels a bit daunting knowing he’s such a huge author but I am quite excited.

  6. What an odd reason for leaving a man! Now I’m interested. Thanks for sharing, and for visiting my blog.

  7. I haven’t read anything by John le Carre either but I’m not really into spy stories – an interesting set up in that first paragraph though!

    1. I like spies on TV but haven’t read many spy stories. I just feel like I should at least give his books a go.

  8. I really like some of his books but haven’t read this one. I just picked up his memoir on audio. Book. Enjoy!

    1. I can’t believe I’ve never read any. I hope I enjoy.

  9. Loved The Night Manager. Enjoy the book.

    1. Me too (the TV show that is). 😄

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