The Mission Song
By John le Carre
(Little, Brown and Company, Hardcover, 9780316016742, 352pp.)
Publication Date: September 1, 2006
List Price: $26.99*
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Abandoned by both his Irish father and Congolese mother, Bruno Salvador has long looked for someone to guide his life. He has found it in Mr. Anderson of British Intelligence.Bruno's African upbringing, and fluency in numerous African languages, has made him a top interpreter in London, useful to businesses, hospitals, diplomats-and spies. Working for Anderson in a clandestine facility known as the "Chat Room," Salvo (as he's known) translates intercepted phone calls, bugged recordings, snatched voice mail messages. When Anderson sends him to a mysterious island to interpret during a secret conference between Central African warlords, Bruno thinks he is helping Britain bring peace to a bloody corner of the world. But then he hears something he should not have....Building upon the box office success of le Carre's The Constant Gardener (like THE MISSION SONG, built around turmoil and conspiracy in Africa) and le Carre's laser eye for the complexity of the modern world (seen in Absolute Friends' prediction that the Iraq war would be based on phony and manipulated intelligence), this new novel is a crowning achievement, full of politics, heart, and the sort of suspense that nobody in the world does better.