Wit and sheer intelligence

A Delicate Truth by John le Carre, published in hardback by Viking, priced �18.99 (ebook �9.99). Available now. (PA Photo/Viking)
A Delicate Truth by John le Carre, published in hardback by Viking, priced �18.99 (ebook �9.99). Available now. (PA Photo/Viking)

If you’re looking for a good read this week, here are few offerings:

A Delicate Truth by John le Carre is published in hardback by Viking, priced £18.99 (ebook £9.99). Available now. Review by Kate Whiting

As a former member of the British Secret Service and Oxford graduate, John le Carre always writes about what he knows best; corrupt government officials, drinking scotch and mercilessly betraying each other.

The narrative of A Delicate Truth is split between Toby Bell, a thirty-something bachelor and the foreign office minister’s private secretary, and Sir Christopher Probyn, an ageing, wealthy gentlemen living in a manor in Cornwall - a lifestyle that currently mirrors Le Carre’s own.

Both find themselves involved in a top-secret counter-terrorism operation, orchestrated by the foreign office minister and a private defence contractor. When it is revealed years later that the project caused the death of innocents, they must decide whether or not to speak out, putting themselves at the mercy of the powers involved.

At 81, the wit and sheer intelligence of Le Carre’s writing is all the more impressive. It keeps you on your toes, reminds you not to trust even your closest friend, and yet again secures his name as the greatest in spy literature.

The Burial by Courtney Collins is published in paperback by Allen & Unwin, priced £12.99 (ebook £2.37). Available now. Review by Harriet Shephard

Most people may not have heard about Jessie Hickman, an outlaw and the last female bushranger in Australia.

The story of her life in the early 1920s is the inspiration for Courtney Collins’s spellbinding debut novel - a story about life, death, love, hope and redemption.

It opens dramatically with Jessie on the run from a crime she has committed. We learn about her past as a circus performer, convict and the marriage of convenience she became trapped in. The price on her head has attracted the attention of many men with bad intentions, but there are two others who follow her trail for very different reasons.

The author captures the world with an eerie beauty. The dirt and the mountains are as vital to the story as the characters and powerful imagery is conjured throughout.

Six Years by Harlan Coben is published in hardback by Orion, priced £18.99 (ebook £9.02). Available now. Review by Chris Gray

A hymn to the power of unrequited love, the latest novel from crime writing guru Harlan Coben opens six years after Jake Fisher watched his girlfriend Natalie get married to another man. After seeing a picture of her husband, apparently murdered, in the papers, Jake is determined to get to the bottom of a mystery that will ultimately be a fight for his life.

Fans of Harlan Coben’s previous bestselling crime novels will be familiar with his drip-feed technique, which takes readers to the edge of their seat and keeps them there.