Review of ‘Call for the Dead’ by John Le Carre

Call for the Dead is John Le Carre’s first novel, and the first of eight novels featuring George Smiley, a career British intelligence agent. In it, Smiley investigates the suicide of Samuel Fennan, a Foreign Office employee Smiley had just cleared of disloyalty. The more he investigates, however, the more he comes to believe that Fennan was murdered. But why? And by whom? Answering those questions take Smiley into the murky territory of espionage during World War II and the early Cold War period.

This is the first Le Carre novel I have read. I like to start at the beginning of a series in order to follow the personal evolution of the lead character. Call for the Dead is short and gracefully written, and it kept me turning pages from the time I sat down with it till I finished the book. I will definitely move on to the next book in the series, which is ‘A Murder of Quality.’

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