I'm not sure how much I can reveal about the plot without spoiling it completely, so I'll play it safe. This is a pure spy mystery involving agent Leamas, fired by the Secret Service for failing to protect his agents properly and given only a minimal pension. He quickly falls into hard drinking and major debt, then lands himself in jail. The day he comes out of jail, he's approached by a stranger and is eventually taken to East Germany to deliver intelligence gathered in the years working for the British service. There is eventually a trial held by the communists during which it comes to light that everyone might be guilty of double and triple-crossing, and seen through the prism of totalitarianism and paranoia, all we've been told till then might be a complete fiction. I was expecting to enjoy this novel more than I did, especially considering the fact that I enjoyed the first two George Smiley novels quite a lot, but maybe I'm not such a big fan of spy novels after all? At one point it all got too confusing and convoluted for me to care much, but looking at the overall construction, it's a very good book and I can objectively say I can see why this is such a popular story and might appeal to such a large audience.