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this is better after knowing more about the series. Try 'The Labyrinth Makers' or 'The Hour of the Donkey'.
Post Korean War and very much the Cold War. The USSR have really infiltrated the British Intellegence. France is making a mess in Algeria and does have a strong grassroots Communist Party.
Fred Clinton is using a double agent to get crucial hard copy evidence of USSR thinking during the Hungarian Uprising and the Suez conflict which also reveals another highly placed double agent. While both the French and British know of the USSR thinking, the US does not and, it was an election year!
The double agent used to call Aubrey back to the fold is having his own crisis. His ruminations and plans take up a lot of time as the plot slowly unwinds. He desperately wants out of the mess he is in. Hence this is not a good book to enter the series. It is slow and it helps if you know a little of what was happening in the world at the time it is set.
Think John Buchan rather than John LeCarre, and very possibly a romantic version of actual events. Price had a few mates in the Intelligence. So.... 'interesting'.
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