With the incomparable opening chapter of Call for the Dead, titled "A Brief History of George Smiley," John le Carré introduces his legendary spy and immediately ensnares readers in the shadowy world Smiley inhabits.
Pulled back from overseas duty during World War II, George Smiley was redirected to face the threats of the Cold War. Investigating circumstances that make no sense to him, he meets a twisted former hero of the German underground, a once beautiful woman with a terrifying secret, a high-ranking pompous bureaucrat, and a suspect British civil servant. Smiley is bitter and weary––he has seen too much and done too much––yet he cannot refuse one last desperate call for his services. He gradually uncovers a spy ring and is led into a lethal duel of wits with the best of his war-time pupils.