Le Carré’s twelfth novel, The Russia House, was published in 1989. The era of perestroika has begun, but spies on both sides of the reluctantly parted Iron Curtain have a vested interest in maintaining old hostilities. Hard-drinking, jazz-loving English publisher, Bartholomew ‘Barley’ Blair, is drawn into their world when he becomes the intended recipient of a leaked manuscript detailing Soviet nuclear capabilities. Spied on by the KGB and treated as a pawn by the Secret Intelligence Service – ‘the Russia House’ – Barley eventually trades with Moscow in order to win the freedom of the woman he loves, thus outmanoeuvring manipulative governments and agents alike. The 1990 film of the book starred Sean Connery and Michelle Pfieffer.
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