> Skip to content

For the first time in over 30 years, John le Carré returns to the Cold War in this thrilling masterpiece.

Peter Guillam, staunch colleague and disciple of George Smiley of the British Secret Service, otherwise known as the Circus, has retired to his family farmstead on the south coast of Brittany when a letter from his old Service summons him to London. The reason? His Cold War past has come back to claim him. Intelligence operations that were once the toast of secret London are to be scrutinised by a generation with no memory of the Cold War. Somebody must be made to pay for innocent blood once spilt in the name of the greater good.
Interweaving past with present so that each may tell its own story, John le Carré has given us a novel of superb and enduring quality.


Breathtaking . . . Not since The Spy Who Came in From The Coldhas le Carré exercised his gift as a storyteller so powerfully and to such thrilling effect

John Banville, Guardian

Gripping, fast-paced . . . A splendid novel

Andrew Marr, Sunday Times

Part of the pleasure of this novel is that the characters seem so much cleverer than we are. It's haunting, fascinating . . . It also made me want to reread the entire Smiley sequence


Le Carré surpasses himself. A masterclass in the genre . . . poignant and brilliant


'The old magic still holds . . . I might as well say it: to read this simmering novel is to come in from the cold

New York Times

A brilliant novel of deception, love and trust to join his supreme espionage canon

Simon Sebag Montefiore, Evening Standard, Books of the Year

This novel offers more than one pleasure. It is not merely good in itself - vintage John le Carré. It gives the reader, at long last, pieces of a jigsaw puzzle that have been missing for 54 years. A Legacy of Spies does a remarkable thing. Le Carré takes a le Carré classic and thickens it into something different from what it was

The Times

A compelling tale of Cold War duplicity and manoeuvrings in the British secret service. A complex and beautifully elaborate narrative. As ever much of the pleasure of reading le Carré is that you have to be on your intellectual mettle

William Boyd, New Statesman

Read More

Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    May 14, 2018

    Penguin General UK

    RRP $26.00

    Online retailers

    • Fishpond
    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • The Nile

    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory

Also by John le Carre

A Legacy Of Spies
A Most Wanted Man
The Tailor Of Panama
The Night Manager: Design by Coralie Bickford-Smith
The Pigeon Tunnel
John Le Carre, Novels
The Night Manager Fti
Our Game
A Delicate Truth
The Night Manager
A Small Town In Germany
The Looking Glass War
Call For The Dead
A Murder Of Quality
The Russia House
The Secret Pilgrim
Our Kind Of Traitor
The Spy Who Came In From The Cold: The Smiley Collection


Need To Know
Orphan X
Tom Clancy's Power And Empire
Typhoon Fury: Oregon Files #12
A Legacy Of Spies
The Laughing Monsters
The Accidental Agent
Who Dares Wins
Illegal Action
The Juliet Code
A Kill in the Morning
A Spy in the Archives
The Ways of the World
The Riddle Of The Sands
Rules of Betrayal