Karla's Choice

Karla's Choice


A gripping new novel set in the universe of John le Carré's most iconic spy, George Smiley, written by acclaimed novelist Nick Harkaway

Set in the missing decade between two iconic instalments in the George Smiley saga, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Nick Harkaway's Karla's Choice is an extraordinary, thrilling return to the world of spy fiction's greatest writer, John le Carré.

It is spring in 1963 and George Smiley has left the Circus. With the wreckage of the West's spy war with the Soviets strewn across Europe, he has eyes only on a more peaceful life. And indeed, with his marriage more secure than ever, there is a rumour in Whitehall – unconfirmed and a little scandalous – that George Smiley might almost be happy.

But Control has other plans. A Russian agent has defected in the most unusual of circumstances, and the man he was sent to kill in London is nowhere to be found. Smiley reluctantly agrees to one last simple task: interview Susanna, a Hungarian émigré and employee of the missing man, and sniff out a lead. But in his absence the shadows of Moscow have lengthened. Smiley will soon find himself entangled in a perilous mystery that will define the battles to come, and strike at the heart of his greatest enemy…

'The Smiley novels are key to understanding the 20th century' Margaret Atwood

‘Smiley is John le Carré’s finest creation, one of the great characters of twentieth-century literature’ The Telegraph

‘The last English gentlemen, Smiley is the finest secret agent in the world’ New York Times

About the authors

Nick Harkaway

Nick Harkaway was born in Cornwall in 1972. Author of the novels The Gone-Away World, Angelmaker and Tigerman, he lives in London with his wife and two children.
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John le Carré

John le Carré was born in 1931. For six decades, he wrote novels that came to define our age. The son of a confidence trickster, he spent his childhood between boarding school and the London underworld. At sixteen he found refuge at the University of Bern, then later at Oxford. A spell of teaching at Eton led him to a short career in British Intelligence (MI5 & 6). He published his debut novel, Call for the Dead, in 1961 while still a secret servant. His third novel, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, secured him a worldwide reputation, which was consolidated by the acclaim for his trilogy, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Honourable Schoolboy and Smiley's People. At the end of the Cold War, le Carré widened his scope to explore an international landscape including the arms trade and the War on Terror. His memoir, The Pigeon Tunnel, was published in 2016 and the last George Smiley novel, A Legacy of Spies, appeared in 2017. He died on 12 December 2020. His posthumous novel, Silverview, was published in 2021.
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