Octogenarian spy master John le Carré to release his 25th novel next year

British author John le Carré at the October premiere of a series based on his “The Little Drummer Girl.”
(Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images)

Prolific British spy novelist John le Carré is 87, but he’s showing no signs of slowing down. The author will release his 25th novel next year, his publisher announced on Monday.

“Agent Running in the Field” will be released on Oct. 22, 2019, by Penguin imprint Viking, the publisher announced in a news release.

The novel will be set in the present day and will confront “the division and rage at the heart of our modern world,” according to Viking. Its protagonist is a 26-year-old “solitary figure who, in a desperate attempt to resist the new political turbulence swirling around him, makes connections that will take him down a very dangerous path.”

“Agent Running in the Field” will be Le Carré's second novel in as many years. His last book, “A Legacy of Spies,” was published in 2017 to largely positive reviews. Writing for The Times, critic Paula L.Woods called the novel a “compelling examination of the quest for an imperfect ideal and the judgment of the generations that follow.”


Le Carré has become a familiar figure to television and film aficionados in recent years. One of his best known novels, “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” was adapted into an Academy Award-nominated film in 2011, based on the 1970s BBC series starring Alec Guinness.

In 2016, BBC aired a television adaptation of Le Carré's 1993 novel “The Night Manager,” which was broadcast in the U.S. by AMC. The show earned critical raves and two Emmy nominations.

Last month, BBC’s adaptation of the author’s “The Little Drummer Girl,” starring Michael Shannon and Alexander Skarsgård, aired on AMC in America. Le Carré made a cameo appearance as a waiter in the show’s third episode.

Love a good book?

Get the latest news, events and more from the Los Angeles Times Book Club, and help us get L.A. reading and talking.

You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.