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»Tension is maintained not only by the natural pull of the plot — the what’s-going-to-happen essential to any thriller — but by Le Carré’s skilful layering. There’s usually more than one thing going on at a time, more than one source of tension.«

Alan Judd

John Le Carré is one of a select group of novelists whose vivid and internally coherent imaginative worlds are so recognisable that their names have become adjectives — Dickensian, Wodehousian, Kafka-esqe, says Alan Judd. His review about le Carré’s latest novel A Delicate Truth you can read at The Spectator.

»Hermiston’s account is unlikely to be bettered, unless by someone given full access to British and Russian files. He makes good use of hitherto undisclosed material and seeks not only to describe but to understand, surely the biographical holy grail.«

Alan Judd

Why did he do it? Alan Judd about the biography The Greatest Traitor: The Secret Lives of Agent George Blake by Roger Hermiston. You can find the review at The Spectator.

»Of course, we do not believe in Bond but there’s some part of us that wants to believe in him, just as his creator did. We want to keep alive the possibility of him. And that is why we are still reading Casino Royale

Alan Judd

Alan Judd with a new introduction to Ian Fleming’s span style=“font-variant: small-caps;“>Casino Royale. Alongside all 14 of the Bond books, it is published in a new edition next month by Vintage Classics to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the film Dr No. Read the new preface at