Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and Smiley's People by John le Carré.

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    • Abstract:
      Together with The Honourable Schoolboy (1977), these novels form the Quest for Karla trilogy, which pits the elderly British superspy George Smiley against the Russian master spy and head of the Thirteenth Directorate, Karla. Karla’s agent in place (“mole”) in the British Secret Service (called the Circus after its central offices at Cambridge Circus) is Bill Haydon, Smiley’s lifelong colleague and friend; Karla’s one humanizing flaw, his love for his daughter, is not safe from Smiley’s probes and eventuates in his downfall. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy chronicles the discovery that there is a mole in the Circus, Smiley’s intricately and stubbornly complete researches to find the mole, and the carefully planned capture of “Gerald,” the mole’s trade name. In this novel, Smiley embarks on his quest to rid the Circus of a traitor; in The Honourable Schoolboy, his task is to rebuild the Secret Service; and in Smiley’s People, he concludes the quest for his “Black Grail” by precipitating Karla’s downfall and defection to the West.