Wednesday, 27 February 2008


AUTHOR: John Le Carré


DATE READ: January 2008

NOTES: Bruno Salvador, with an Irish Missionary father and Congolese mother, works as a freelance interpreter. As well as English, French and Swahili he also speaks a range of less common African languages.

As a loyal British citizen he is proud to be called on by unnamed government departments to assist in sensitive negotiations. But when he is asked to leave at short notice to attend a conference of unnamed people for unknown purposes on an anonymous northern island things go awry for him. As an interpreter he is expected to hold everything in strict confidence but as the conference progresses he sees and hears things that can only be detrimental to peace and progress.

It is very well done how Le Carré portrays Salvo as initially very enthusiastic and naïvely
supportive of what is being planned and how he gradually has his innocence ripped away from him.

The Mission Song is well plotted (complex but believable) and whips along at a great pace. An exciting read but without any crazy chases or gun fights. Another great addition to Le Carré’s post-Cold War output.

Can businessmen, Civil Servants and politicians be so corrupt and self-serving? Yes, probably.

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