One of the greatest spy novelists of all time, John le Carré was born in 1931. His third novel, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, secured him a worldwide reputation, which was consolidated by the acclaim for his trilogy Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Honourable Schoolboy and Smiley’s People all featuring his most famous character, George Smiley, the quintessential Cold War operative. An antidote to Fleming’s racier James Bond, Smiley is cool, thoughtful, somewhat academic and (superficially) “breathtakingly normal” with a somewhat ambivalent attitude to the Service and its efficacy. His other novels, thrillers which range widely covering variously political issues of the arms trade, modern conflict and drug-trafficking, include: A Most Wanted Man, Our Kind of Traitor, A Delicate Truth and the recently adapted The Night Manager. His only work of non-fiction, The Pigeon Tunnel, was a Number One bestseller in 2016.