Monday, 5 May 2014

Bank holiday good read

It was such a dull Bank Holiday Monday that we stayed at home and read all day. It was an opportunity to read John Le Carre's novel 'A delicate truth' straight through apart from meals. Much of it is set in Gibraltar, where a botched secret anti-terrorist operation takes place during the latter years of the New Labour administration, making deniable use of American far-right mercenaries. It's also about a diplomat and a senior Foreign Office official who become whistle blowers, outraged by the secret exercise of power without accountability by a minister of state and the cover up which follows. At the end of the story it's unclear if they are successful in an endeavour that will certainly cost them their careers if not their lives.

Le Carre is a master story teller whose writing observes the corruption and deceit of the modern world with prophetic indignation, a great novelist, far more than just a writer of classy spy fiction. During my time in Andalusia, I haven't had the desire or good reason to visit Gibraltar, although it's only two hours drive from Fuengirola. I can't say that its curt portrayal in this novel has persuaded me to make the effort, should I return to the Costa del Sol.

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