I thought that this was the best spy novel about the War on Terror that I've read by quite a large margin. Don't miss this book!
Only John Le Carré could take us to delicately into the middle of the War on Terror to show, not tell, what's wrong with the approach. In the process, he reveals how the ego of power overwhelms the scruples of even the most moral, those who hope to improve, and people who just want to keep promises. At the same time, he displays the problems that occur when many different spy and police agencies try to work together. Regardless of your political and ethical views, this story will shake you to the soles of your feet.
A most wanted man makes his early appearance as a quiet, ill-looking beggar-like person who can't be driven off. Even to a Muslim family in Hamburg, Germany, this newcomer seems pretty odd. When they see the seeming beggar a little more closely, they are shocked and want to help. Others have the same reaction, beginning with the lawyer, Annabel Richter, who is summoned to help a most wanted man "regularize" his situation. That contact soon draws in a Scottish banker, Tommy Brue, who isn't too happy with his life.
But there are larger interests at stake, and those interests all have different plans for the most wanted man, a man with secrets and with a moral position he wants to assert. Is there forgiveness in the world? Will past wrongs be considered?
We only hear dialogue from the most wanted man and what others have to say about him. But from those sources, we gain insights into someone whose life is much different from our own. It's a challenging task of character development, but it works well in Le Carré's masterful hands.
The lawyer, the banker, and some of the spies are also narrators which allows us to get closer to them. These portrayals help us come into touch with ourselves, with that part of us that wants to do the right thing.
But, like life, there's a lot going on that isn't clear to anyone. You'll be as in the dark as many of the characters are. Pay attention and you'll learn.