The Tailor of Panama by John le Carré (1997)Read about another book on the list.
No one matches Le Carré for his masterful plots and compelling, brutal prose. In eschewing the action sequence, he brings alive the psychological tension, the absurdities and the sheer greyness that is spy work. Which of his books to choose? Perhaps some of the recent works (such as the The Constant Gardener, or A Delicate Truth) are a little too moralising: the secret service seems always in league with some evil corporation. I like particularly The Tailor of Panama for laying bare the uneasy marriage between, on the one hand, spycraft and all its deceptions, and the mission of spying, on the other, which is to establish the truth of things.