I was looking forward to this one. I'm a big fan of Herron's clever, funny books with their large cast of MI5 rejects headed by the horrible Jackson Lamb. I also approved the choice of novel, because - unpopular opinion alert - I much prefer standalone le Carré novels to anything with Smiley in.
I voiced this view to Herron when I was getting his latest, Spook Street, signed. "You're not looking forward to September 7th, then?" he asked. I admitted that I was and I had bought the ticket plus signed book package.
I was not disappointed by my evening, which was full of interest and audience participation. I'd had a re-read of Absolute Friends, because, as with Tinker Tailor, I couldn't remember what happened in it, and found it rewarding. At the time of publication, in the early Noughties, it was widely condemned for its stance on Blair, Bush and the special relationship. A good one to try again today.