Books: Ruthless Is as Ruthless Does

THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD by John le Carré. 256 pages. Coward-McCann. $4.50.

What is it really like to be a cold war spy? A deluge of fictional spy thrillers has done little to answer the question. Now along comes a one-time Eton schoolmaster, David Cornwell, 32, who some three years ago joined Her Majesty's Foreign Office "to get into the swim," and writing under an assumed name seems to have told all in one of the best spy stories ever written. Even if John le Carre's book isn't authentic, nobody except another certified spy can be sure; and...

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