- It is understood that both Nicholas Cornwell and John Le Carré will be credited for the book
John le Carré’s death three years ago left fans thinking they’d seen the last of legendary spook George Smiley.
But the character is set to come back in from the cold in a new novel penned by the author’s son, Nicholas Cornwell, Penguin Random House confirmed.
Cornwell – writing as Nick Harkaway – will set the new installment in the decade between The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
Speaking of the decision to write the new novel, which is yet to be named, Cornwell said: ‘Smiley is woven into my life.
‘Tinker Tailor was written in the two years after I was born and I grew up with the evolution of the Circus, so this is a deeply personal journey for me, and of course it’s a journey which has to feel right to the le Carré audience.
‘It also seems as if we need the Smiley stories back now because they ask us the questions of the moment.
‘What compassion do we owe to one another as human beings, and at what point does that compassion become more important than nation, law or duty?’
It is understood that both Cornwell and le Carré will be credited for the book.
Harriet Bourton, publishing director at Viking, an imprint of Penguin which will publish the book, said: ‘As a lifelong fan of the incredible world that John le Carré created, these missing years in Smiley’s career have always intrigued me.
‘Nobody is better placed to capture the spirit and voice of John le Carré than Nick Harkaway.’
Le Carré – real name David Cornwell – died in 2020 at the age of 89 from bronchial pneumonia, rib fractures and prostate cancer.
The author, who had himself worked for both the MI5 and MI6, introduced Smiley in his debut Call for the Dead in 1961 and the spy reappeared in another eight of his novels.