John Le Carre

Smiley's People

UK First Edition Book & Synopsis

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Published 1980 by Hodder & Stoughton
Blue cloth, gold titles
Dust jacket priced at 5.95
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John Le Carre

John Le Carre - Smiley's People

 

SYNOPSIS

The two men had been together for fifteen minutes but this was the Superintendent's first question. For a while Smiley did not seem to hear it, but his silence was not offensive, he had the gift of quiet. Besides, there is a companionship about two men contemplating a corpse. It was an hour before dawn on Hampstead Heath, a dripping, misty, no-man's hour, neither warm nor cold, with a heaven tinted orange by the London glow, and the trees glistening like oilskins. They stood side by side in an avenue of beeches and the Superintendent was taller by a head: a young giant of a man, prematurely grizzled, a little pompous perhaps, but with a giant's gentleness that made him naturally befriending. Smiley was clasping his pudgy hands over his belly like a mayor at a cenotaph, and had eyes for nothing but the body lying at his feet in the beam of the Superintendent's torch. The walk this far had evidently winded him, for he puffed a little as he stared. From the darkness round them, police receivers crackled on the night air. There were no other lights at all; the Superintendent had ordered them extinguished. 'He was )ust somebody I worked with,' Smiley explained after a long delay. 'So I was given to understand, sir,' the Superintendent said. He waited hopefully but nothing more came. 'Don't even speak to him,' the Deputy Assistant Commissioner (Crime and Ops) had said to him. 'You never saw him and it was two other blokes. Just show him what he wants and drop him down a hole. Fast.' Till now, the Detective Chief Superintendent had done exactly that. He had moved, in his own estimation, with the speed of light.

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