It was a perfectly ordinary Friday afternoon in tropical Panama until Andrew Osnard barged into Harry Pendel’s shop asking to be measured for a suit.
So begins John le Carré’s dazzling new novel set in contemporary Panama, reluctant host and future owner of the second largest gateway to world trade.
Harry Pendel, Jewish-Irish foster child, is the charismatic proprietor and guiding genius of Pendel and Braithwaite Limitada, Tailors to Royalty, formerly of Savile Row, through whose doors passes everyone who is anyone in Central America. Andrew Osnard, mysterious and fleshly, is an Old Etonian and spy. His secret mission is two-pronged: to keep a watchful eye on the political manoeuvrings leading up to the American handover of the Panama Canal at midday on 31st December 1999; and to secure for himself the immense private fortune that has until now churlishly eluded him.
And Osnard knows more about Pendel than Pendel knows himself . . .
Already acclaimed as one of the most skilled, entertaining and important novelists writing today, John le Carré has written a book of such poignant drama, perfect characterisation, humour and sadness that it will be regarded as a masterpiece.
REF : 9781844568987