The Constant Gardener by John Le Carre

The Constant Gardener

John Le Carre

When Justin's wife is killed he is drawn into the part of her world he had deliberately kept out of. He grows in strength and purpose as all those around him are shown to be compromised. This story of corruption is tense and rings more frighteningly true than any cold war spy story.

Extract

'We're getting reports of a white woman and an African driver found on the eastern shore of Lake Turkana. Killed,' Woodrow began deliberately, avoiding the word 'murdered'. 'The car and driver were hired from the Oasis Lodge. The Lodge's owner claims to have identified the woman as Tessa. He says she and Bluhm spent the night at the Oasis before setting out for the Richard Leakey site. Bluhm's still missing. They've found her necklace ....'

Woodrow was still watching Justin. The coward in him wanted to look away, but to the soldier's son it would have been like sentencing a man to be executed and not showing up for his hanging. He watched Justin's eyes widen in injured disappointment, as if he had been hit from behind by a friend, then dwindle to almost nothing, as if the same friend had knocked him unconcious. He watched his nicely carved lips part in a spasm of physical pain, then gather themselves into a muscular line of exclusion turned pale by pressure.

Parallels
  • The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John Le Carre
  • When We Were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro