Ah. I think I chose the wrong book. I read Daniel Silva, Donna Leon, David Baldacci...ABA thriller/suspense writers all. So I decided there was a gap in my education and picked up this John le Carre (sorry for the lack of accent) book.
Because I am well aware of the great regard in which he is held, let me just share my reasons for stopping before I hit page 100. They may be unique to me, so take this review with a grain of salt.
1. I like characters to be able to get through an entire page without using the "F word" several times. After a while, I felt as if I were stuck in a middle-school boys' locker room, and these guys had arrested development. I realize the espionage world is populated with rough characters, but there are, in my opinion, ways to "show" that aspect without "telling" via the F-word. Repeatedly. Ad nauseam.
2. I thought the story dragged. Because I didn't like the characters, I didn't want to take a leisurely literary stroll with them. Unlike Silva's Allon, or Leon's Brunetti, le Carre's characters didn't (in the first 100 pages) have any redeeming characteristics and seemed very mono-faceted. Essentially, they bored me.
3. Again, in the first 100 pages, I didn't think the story was that interesting. No female was depicted as anything more than the type of women about which I warned my son. This lack of diversity bored me, too.
So...this might be the perfect book for you. It was not for me.