by John le Carré
A would-be defector from the Russian mob.
I don't tend to read much fiction. I enjoy it, but life's just too short to read stuff that isn't true. But I obtained several free unabridged John le Carré audiobooks a couple of years back as part of a promotional offer on the Guardian website, so I used an extended bathroom-decorating session to try them out.
I've always said that listening to audiobooks doesn't count as ‘reading’, but listening to this book certainly felt like reading. The narration by Michael Jayston was excellent. (If you decide to try the audiobook, make sure you get this version: other versions are available.)
Publisher's summary: Britain is in the depths of recession. A left-leaning young Oxford academic and his barrister girlfriend take an off-peak holiday on the Caribbean island of Antigua. Seemingly by chance, they bump into a Russian millionaire called Dima who owns a peninsula and a diamond-encrusted gold watch. He also has a tattoo on his right thumb, and wants a game of tennis. But he wants something else too, something which propels the young lovers on a tortuous journey through Paris to a safe house in the Swiss Alps, to the murkiest cloisters of the City of London and its unholy alliance with Britain's Intelligence Establishment.