Hugh Laurie's Bookshelf
By John Le Carré
There are few things quite as beautiful as a well-constructed thriller. This, the coldest of Cold War novels, describes the journey of Alec Leamas, burned-out spy, on his final mission behind the Iron Curtain. It has the symmetrical, mathematical precision of a piece of Bach, and to this day, I get all tingly thinking of the line: "And suddenly, with the terrible clarity of a man too long deceived, Leamas understood the whole ghastly trick."