Call for the Dead (1961)
It was less an interview than an amiable conversation over a walk in the park. George Smiley had been sent to speak to a high-ranking civil servant after an anonymous tip-off that he was a security risk. It was a formality – and the two men liked each other. Why then, did it apparently drive the poor man to despair? And why was he found dead the next day, the victim of an unnecessary suicide?
Leamas is finished. Every agent he ran in the field has been remorselessly hunted and killed. It is time to come home, to come in from the cold.
The Looking Glass War (1965)
The Department has faded since the war, effectively mothballed, without agents or resources. But now, with intelligence of a possible missile threat, it again has a mission. This is a chance to prove its influence to those at the Circus, like George Smiley, who think the Department’s time has passed. The opportunity to reclaim former glory cannot be missed – even though it means putting men’s lives at desperate risk, on foreign soil.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1974)
The Circus has already suffered a bad defeat, and the result was two bullets in a man’s back. But a bigger threat still exists. And the legendary George Smiley is recruited to root out a high-level mole of thirty years’ standing – though to find him means spying on the spies.
The Honourable Schoolboy (1977)
It is a beleaguered and betrayed Secret Service that has been put in the care of George Smiley. A mole has been uncovered at the organisation’s highest levels – and its agents across the world put in grave danger. But untangling the traitor’s web gives Smiley a chance to attack his Russian counterpart, Karla. And part-time spy Jerry Westerby is the weapon at Smiley’s disposal.
Smiley’s People (1980)
The murdered man had been an agent – once, long ago. But George Smiley’s superiors at the Secret Service want to see the crime buried, not solved. Smiley will not leave it at that, not when it might lead him all the way to Karla, the elusive Soviet spymaster…
The Secret Pilgrim (1991)
The Cold War is over and Ned’s career, if not the whole business of spying, is on the wane. He asks an old mentor – George Smiley – to lecture to the students now in his charge. And the great spy’s speech drives Ned’s thoughts to his own time in the world of espionage: to double agents and proud arms dealers, to a beautiful German terrorist and a royal escort mistaken for an assassin, and to betrayals both clumsy and cold-blooded.