'Le Carr 's eye is undimmed, his passion for his craft as strong as it ever was. He delivers a tale that few could equal and none will surpass.' Observer on THE MISSION SONG
Bruno Salvador, known to friends and enemies alike as Salvo, is the ever-innocent, twenty-nine-year-old orphaned love-child of a Catholic Irish missionary and a Congolese headman's daughter. Educated first at mission school in the East Congolese province of Kivu, and later at a discreet sanctuary for the secret sons of Rome, Salvo is inspired by his mentor Brother Michael to train as a professional interpreter in the minority African languages of which, almost from birth, he has been an obsessive collector.
Soon a rising star in his profession, he is courted by City corporations, hospitals, law courts, the Immigration services and - inevitably - the mushrooming overworld of British Intelligence. He is also courted - and won - by the all-white, Surrey-born Penelope, star reporter on one of our great national newspapers, whom with typical impulsiveness he promptly marries. Yet even as the story opens, a contrary and irresistible love is dawning in him.
Despatched to a no-name island in the North Sea to attend a top-secret meeting between Western financiers and East Congolese warlords, Salvo is obliged to interpret matters never intended for his re-awoken African conscience.
I imagine this is the first time that le Carr? has been mentioned in the same breath at Updike and Roth. They, after all, are Literary Novelists with a capital L and N, whereas Le Carr? is . . . well. what is he? Actually he is sui generis. Or, rather, he is his own genre. Quite an achievement that. - Sunday Telegraph
THE MISSION SONG is meticulously researched, and the tricks and tactics of being a top interpreter are convincingly rendered. You're left with the uncomfortable feeling that perhaps politicians, journalists, civil servants and the businessmen really are the lying, amoral bastards portrayed here. Perhaps it isn't only in le Carr?'s world, but in the real world too, that we're unwise to believe what we are told. - Independent on Sunday
Fast-paced and entertaining - Times Literary Supplement
Le Carr?'s eye is undimmed, his passion for his craft as strong as it ever was. He delivers a tale that few could equal and none will surpass. - Observer
le Carr? shows no sign of slowing up or losing touch. - Spectator on THE MISSION SONG
Exquisitely crafted - Daily Mail
A literary master for a generation - Observer on ABSOLUTE FRIENDS
Complex, often sardonically funny, always galvanically written. In fact his best book in years - Daily Express on ABSOLUTE FRIENDS
John le Carr was born in 1931. His third novel, THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD, secured him a wide reputation which was consolidated by the acclaim for his trilogy TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY, THE HONOURABLE SCHOOLBOY and SMILEY'S PEOPLE. His other novels include THE CONSTANT GARDENER, ABSOLUTE FRIENDS and THE MISSION SONG. A MOST WANTED MAN is his twentieth novel.