I really liked Mission Song; I liked it so much that I kept reading it even when I needed to be doing other things. Vintage LeCarre’ was all grim and grey, large bureaucracies countering the evil Russian Empire. One of his points was that if we aren’t careful what tactics and strategies we use, we become the very evil we are fighting.
More recent LeCarre’ – The Mission Song, The Constant Gardener, The Tailor of Panama . . . continues to follow the bureaucracy of spying, and the machinations of world power. Who will control the resources? Who can we put in power? He has captured that it is no longer only national powers, but also international corporations which may be the players in the international game of thrones.
The Mission Song has a lovable main character, son of a priest to the Congo and an African woman, raised in the mission, speaking many languages and dialects, picked up as a child in contact with shifting groups and nationalities. When we meet him, he is married – badly – to a rich and powerful English woman, and working as a translator. Suddenly, his life takes a big turn, he is whisked off on a week-end mission, and life never returns to ‘normal’ again.