A leak is traced to a small sub-section of SIS, sparking off the inevitable security checks, tensions and suspicions. The sort of atmosphere, perhaps, where mistakes could be made? For Maurice Castle, it is the end of the line anyway, and time for him to retire to live peacefully with his African wife, Sarah.
To the lonely, isolated, neurotic world of the Secret Service, Graham Greene brings his brilliance and perception, laying bare a machine that sometimes overlooks the subtle and secret motivations that impel us.
"Graham Greene's beautiful and disturbing novel is filled with tenderness, humour, excitement and doubt" The Times
Graham Greene was born in 1904. On coming down from Balliol College, Oxford, he worked for four years as sub-editor on The Times. He established his reputation with his fourth novel, Stamboul Train. In 1935 he made a journey across Liberia, described in Journey Without Maps, and on his return was appointed film critic of the Spectator. In 1926 he had been received into the Roman Catholic Church and visited Mexico in 1938 to report on the religious persecution there. As a result he wrote The Lawless Roads and, later, his famous novel The Power and the Glory. Brighton Rock was published in 1938 and in 1940 he became literary editor of the Spectator. The next year he undertook work for the Foreign Office and was stationed in Sierra Leone from 1941 to 1943. This later produced the novel The Heart of the Matter, set in West Africa. As well as his many novels, Graham Greene wrote several collections of short stories, four travel books, six plays, three books of autobiography - A Sort of Life, Ways of Escape and A World of My Own (published posthumously) - two of biography and four books for children. He also contributed hundreds of essays, and film and book reviews, some of which appear in the collections Reflections and Mornings in the Dark. Many of his novels and short stories have been filmed and The Third Man was written as a film treatment. Graham Greene was a member of the Order of Merit and a Companion of Honour. He died in April 1991.
"Graham Greene's beautiful and disturbing novel is filled with tenderness, humour, excitement and doubt" The Times "As fine a novel as he has ever written - concise, ironic, acutely observant of contemporary life, funny, shocking, above all compassionate" -- Anthony Burgess "Graham Greene's beautiful and disturbing novel is filled with tenderness, humour, excitement and doubt" The Times "It is beautifully done, a pleasure to read, a succession of deft, unobtrusive, yet masterly touches" Guardian