Our kind of Traitor starts with a young couple on holiday in Antigua, who are introduced by the resident tennis pro to a man called Dima.
Little do they know that a random (or is it?) acquaintance at a tennis court will change their lives.
The next thing we know is that the couple is being interviewed by the Secret Service about every detail of their meeting with Dima.
Without taking away much of the plot – which is rather thin as it is – there were elements of this book that reminded me of The Russia House, which in my estimation is still the best le Carre book I have read. And this is probably the most flattering thing I can say about Our Kind of Traitor.
However, those elements were far and few between.
I liked the writing and the jumping from one perspective to another, but the story dragged. Badly. There is little gripping action in this – tho, if you’re looking for action, don’t pick up le Carre in the first place – and the suspense is mostly built on the question of whether the “transaction” will be made or not. This is not a lot to go on over 300 pages.
The description of how the characters change over the course of the events helps with the lack of plot, and le Carre’s characters themselves are infinitely more rounded and enjoyable than those of many other spy thrillers, but, overall, this was not as satisfying a read as The Constant Gardner, The Russia House, The Tailor of Panama, or The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. (I’m not a huge fan of the Smiley series…)