1989, 1st edition; Alfred A. Knopf publishers, New York; "First Edition" stated on copyright page; hardbound with black boards and nice silver lettering on cover and spine; very good condition with unmarked pages, appears unread; decorative dust jacket very good.
The Russia House is a spy novel by John le Carré published in 1989. The title refers to the nickname given to the portion of the British Secret Intelligence Service that was devoted to spying on the Soviet Union. A film based on the novel was released in 1990 starring Sean Connery and Michelle Pfeiffer, and directed by Fred Schepisi. The BBC produced a radio play starring Tom Baker.
In 1987, Bartholomew "Barley" Scott Blair, a British publisher, is at a book fair in Moscow. With business friends he goes on a drunken retreat to a secluded dacha in the forest near Peredelkino. When their talk turns to politics, Barley finds himself talking boldly of patriotism and courage, of a new world order, and an end to Cold War tensions. One attentive listener, "Goethe", asks him privately whether he truly believes in the possibility of such a world. Barley convincingly says that he does.
Several months later in Moscow, a woman named Katya seeks Barley out at an audio fair, hoping to convince him to publish a manuscript for her friend Yakov which details Soviet nuclear capabilities and atomic secrets. The manuscript has a cover letter to Barley, saying that Yakov is trying to serve his country by hastening the day when democracy will come to the Soviet Union. Barley is in Lisbon. Katya gives the package to Niki Landau to forward it to Barley. When Landau is unable to locate Barley, the manuscript is sent to the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6). Their Russia House is more than interested in it and ask Barley to contact Yakov with a list of verifying questions to determine the document's authenticity. Barley is content to stay out of the matter, but he is manipulated into undertaking the mission. He grows fond of Katya and begins thinking of a way to get her out of the Soviet Union...