From Goodreads: In London at dead of night, George Smiley, sometime acting Chief of the Circus (aka the British Secret Service), is summoned from his lonely bed by news of the murder of an ex-agent. Lured back to active service, Smiley skillfully maneuvers his people -- "the no-men of no-man's land" -- into crisscrossing Paris, London, Germany, and Switzerland as he prepares for his own final, inevitable duel on the Berlin border with his Soviet counterpart and archenemy, Karla.
First of all I have to say that this book is one of the best spy thrillers I’ve ever read.
The plot is slow, but in a good way. There are several characters involved, some more important than others, but everybody fits in the story. Sometimes it may seem that things don’t make sense and you may wonder how some of the characters are connected, but everything makes sense when you reach the end. All the questions you had while reading will be answered.
The main character is George Smiley. In this book he is already retired and living a quiet life until he has to go back to his job. People who are expecting lots of action and bullets will be disappointed. Smiley’s greatest weapon is not a gun or a knife. It’s his mind.
Something I liked about this book is that the bad people (bad from Smiley’s point of view) don’t behave the way they do just because of the Soviet Union. It is interesting to see how most of them have more personal reasons and how those are discovered.