Our Kind of Traitor
First edition cover
|Author||John le Carré|
|September 16, 2010|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover)|
|Preceded by||A Most Wanted Man|
|Followed by||A Delicate Truth|
Our Kind of Traitor is a novel published in 2010 by the British novelist John le Carré about a Russian money launderer seeking to defect to the UK after a close friend of his had been killed by the new leadership of his own criminal brotherhood.
On a tennis holiday in Antigua, British university lecturer Peregrine "Perry" Makepiece and his lawyer girlfriend Gail Perkins meet mysterious Russian business oligarch Dmitri "Dima" Vladimirovich Krasnov and his family. Dima, who describes himself as "the world's number one money launderer," deliberately sought contact with Perry hoping that he is a British spy or knows one. This is because Dima wants Perry to pass on information about his criminal activities to British intelligence, in exchange for protection for himself and his family. Dima fears for his life because "The Prince", the new leader of his criminal brotherhood, had a good friend of Dima and his wife murdered. The Prince now wants Dima to come to Bern to sign over control of the money-laundering operations to him.
Back in the UK, Perry reaches out to a colleague with contacts in the British intelligence community and hands over Dima's notes. Since these implicate a high-ranking decision maker in the UK, British intelligence decides to put government fixer Hector Meredith in charge of a secret semi-official investigation. Hector recruits disgraced intelligence officer Luke Weaver to handle the investigation. Luke, eager to redeem himself, makes all the necessary arrangements. Dima insists that Perry and Gail be present during his first contact with British intelligence in Paris during the 2009 Roland Garros final, so the couple travel to Paris where they again meet with Dima and his family.
After Dima signs the papers handing over his assets to a representative of "The Prince", he meets with Luke and is extracted, along with his family, to a safe house in the Swiss Alps. They wait here until British intelligence insists that only Dima travel to the UK; his family will be allowed to join him later if his information proves correct. Dima reluctantly agrees and travels with Luke to catch the charter plane that is supposed to bring them to the UK, only to be killed as the plane crashes shortly after take-off.
New York Times reviewer Michiko Kakutani described it as "part vintage John le Carre and part Alfred Hitchcock" calling it the author's most thrilling thriller in years.
- Kakutani, Michiko (11 October 2010). "Innocents Caught in a Web of Intrigue". New York Times.
- John le Carré on His New Novel, Our Kind of Traitor - video interview by Democracy Now!
- Book review by The Independent's literary editor, Boyd Tonkin
- Book review by The Telegraph's literary editor, James Naughtie
- Book review by The Scotsman's literary editor, Ian Campbell
- Book review by The Guardians's literary editor, Christopher Tayler