George V. Reilly

Review: Call for the Dead

Call for the Dead
Title: Call for the Dead
Author: John le Carré
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Scribner
Copyright: 1961
Pages: 160
Keywords: thriller, mystery
Reading period: 1–3 July, 2009

Le Carré’s very first novel, Call for the Dead introduces his most famous character, George Smiley. After a harmonious meeting with Smiley to review his security clearance, Samuel Fennan goes home, writes a letter com­plain­ing of har­rass­ment, and commits suicide. But little things don’t add up and Smiley starts in­ves­ti­gat­ing, only to be nearly murdered himself.

A strong debut, and amazingly short at 160 pages. Call provides some background about Smiley’s very bad war, undercover in Nazi ter­ri­to­ries, and his rocky marriage.

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