An English tailor working in Panama is hired by the British government as a spy because of his contacts at the highest level. He proceeds to tailor his reports the way he creates his suits, giving the client what he wants, and the result is tragicomedy.
The story felt like an earlier draft of Absolute Friends, but not as compelling. Better than your average thriller, but still not recommended.
(And the disclaimer at the end about how the real British embassy staff are nothing like what's portraited in the novel kinda destroys the whole impact of the book. Why write a book implying a certain view of the how the world works then say, on the last page, "BTW I don't believe a word of this".)
'Arguably his best book since The Spy Who Came in from the Cold', says The times Educational Supplement on the cover. Well, no.
Makes me think that this is what happened to the USA in its intelligence gathering prior to the Iraq war.
The book was a bit slow going. The interspersed humor kept me going though.
The plot did have lengthy bits but never once was I bored. The politics were relatively easy to follow and I enjoyed learning more about a country I knew nothing about.
Not one of LeCarré's best, but certainly a good example of this work, and an entertaining read.