Books | August 24, 2017 11:30 am

John le Carré Returns With Sequel to ‘The Spy Who Came In From the Cold’

Famed spy novelist returns in soon-to-publish 24th novel, 'A Legacy of Spies.'

Novelist John le Carré Releasing Sequel to 'The Spy Who Came In From the Cold'
British writer John Le Carré attends a screeening of Berlinale Special Series 'The Night Manager' by Danish Susanne Bier and British David Farr screened during the 66th Berlinale Film Festival in Berlin on February 18, 2016. (John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images)

As you know, we spill a hell of a lot of e-ink on British spy James Bond and his creator Ian FlemingRealClearLife sort of sees the two men—one fictional, one real—as our “spirit animals.” If either were alive, we could imagine both would enjoy browsing RCLife.

But we’re also a big fan of another British spy, who’s found international acclaim in print and at the box office—but doesn’t have as strong of a “brand.” That would be George Smiley, the fictional intelligence officer made famous by author John le Carré in a series of bestselling novels.

If you’re a film fanatic, you’ll remember Gary Oldman’s Oscar-nominated stab at Smiley in 2011’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. And if you’re a bookish history buff, you’re probably already a fan of 1963’s The Spy Who Came In From the Cold, in which le Carré spins a tale of spy-craft and deceit between the British and East Germans, with Smiley in a co-starring role (unlike Bond, he wasn’t the focus of all the novels grouped around his last name).

Now, 54 years later, le Carré is set to publish his 24th novel, A Legacy of Spies, which will serve as a sequel to Cold. And as the Wall Street Journal rightly argues, “The new novel couldn’t be timelier,” given the reports of Russian election hacking and alleged collusion with the Trump campaign.

Intriguingly, le Carré refused to comment for the Journal‘s piece on the new book—surely helping to add an extra layer of mystery to its contents.

The hardcover edition of A Legacy of Spies will be out on Sept. 5.