I just finished Under Western Eyes. It's the first Cold War novel- except (of course) that it was written forty years too soon. A drama of terror and counter-terror that began on the wintry streets of St. Petersburg is played to a close in the bourgeois playground of Geneva. A man who asks for nothing better than to be left alone- a hollow man, whose emptiness is read by others as profundity- is caught up in the war between autocracy and revolution and - horribly compromised- has to transcend himself to achieve redemption. There's a wonderful supporting cast of grotesques. It's like something by Le Carre- only better.
I sometimes labour under the illusion that I can save people. And then I discover that I can't.