New John Le Carre novel featuring a spy’s antics in a seaside town is to be published… a year after his death

  • John le Carré, who worked for MI5 and MI6, died from pneumonia in December
  • Novelist only had one full-length work which was left unpublished when he died
  • Book, called Silverview, will be published in same week he would have turned 90 

A new John le Carré novel will be published in October, in the same week the late author would have turned 90.

The novelist, who worked for both MI5 and MI6 before finding fame with books such as Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Smiley’s People, died from pneumonia in December.

His new work, Silverview, was the only complete full-length novel left unpublished at the time of his death.

It was the wish of le Carré, real name David Cornwell, that his literary legacy was looked after by his children and he gave his blessing for Silverview, which was written alongside his last two novels – A Legacy of Spies (2017) and Agent Running in the Field (2019), to be published.

John le Carré (pictured), who worked for both MI5 and MI6, died from pneumonia in December and only left one full-length work unpublished, Silverview, which will be published in October

His youngest son, Nicholas Cornwell, a novelist who writes under the pen name Nick Harkaway, said: ‘It’s a superb and fitting final novel. This is the authentic le Carré, telling one more story.’

Le Carré’s agent, Jonny Geller, described reading the novel as feeling like ‘a gift he has left us’ and said Silverview was ‘as urgent and alive as any of his past work’.

Silverview tells the story of Julian Lawndsley, who has left a high-flying job in the City for a simpler life running a bookshop in a small English seaside town, the publishers Viking said.

‘But only a couple of months into his new career, Julian’s evening is disrupted by a visitor.

Silverview was written alongside his last two novels – A Legacy of Spies (2017) and Agent Running in the Field (2019), and he gave his blessing to his children for it to be published

Edward, a Polish émigré living in Silverview, the big house on the edge of town, seems to know a lot about Julian’s family and is rather too interested in the inner workings of his modest new enterprise,’ they said.

‘When a letter turns up at the door of a spy chief in London warning him of a dangerous leak, the investigations lead him to this quiet town by the sea…’

The publishers described it as the ‘mesmerising story of an encounter between innocence and experience and between public duty and private morals,’ adding: ‘In his inimitable voice John le Carré, the greatest chronicler of our age, seeks to answer the question of what we truly owe to the people we love.’

Silverview is due to be published on October 14.

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