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Julian Lawndsley has renounced his high-flying job in the City for a simpler life running a bookshop in a small English seaside town. But only a couple of months into his new career, Julian's evening is disrupted by a visitor. Edward, a Polish émigré living in Silverview, the big house on the edge of town, seems to know a lot about Julian's family and is rather too interested in the inner workings of his modest new enterprise.
Reviewed on 6th February 2022
John le Carré’s final novel feels like he remained very much on form. It’s short by modern standards, but feels like the perfect length for the story it is telling. To some extent, it feels like Carré’s stature allowed him to escape concepts like word counts imposed by publishers, and just to write the words that are necessary.
This then is the story of a number of people with murky backgrounds. One retires tho a coastal town to become a bookseller, where he meets some of the others.
It feels like there are many layers to this world. The things that are happening on the surface are clear, and the layer beneath mostly clear, but there is another layer or two below that are obscured, and may take a second reading to expose.
A fantastic exit, and clear tribute to the author who really did define the entire genre and remained at its peak throughout.