9/series. When Freemantle draws a fatuous, conniving, self-deluded character, it’s one for the record books. Here he gives us two, beautifully drawn, weaseling around trying to bring down our boy Charlie. In Moscow, teetering on the brink of perestroika, comes a spymaster who takes it all very personally. In London, two old-school-tie snobs plot to bring their flat-footed colleague down. But they never should have involved mama. Switching from one hub of power to another, Freemantle has created yet another mesmerizing tale of sly betrayal, clever manipulation, and megalomaniacal hatred. Charlie Muffin is the Man! If you read spy stories, this author has the genre nailed down in incomparable LeCarre style (I bet the prolific Freemantle grinds his teeth at the comparisson). Oh, I almost forgot: there’s a love story you won’t believe. It’s an absolutely delicious 5.