Most reviewed: A Most Wanted Man

<p>The most reviewed title by far this weekend was John le Carr&eacute;&#39;s return to the espionage novel in <em>A Most Wanted Man</em> (Hodder, 9780340977064, &pound;18.99), and it attracted both admiration and dismay from critics.</p><p>Henry Sutton writing in the <em>Daily Mirror</em> proclaims:&nbsp; &quot;Once again, le Carr&eacute; proves he&#39;s so much more than a thriller writer by tackling very urgent themes with rare insight and clarity&quot; while Peter Millar in the Saturday<em> Times</em> hails &quot;a timely work of intelligent insight, rare humanity and cynical realism&quot;. The <em>Sunday Times</em>&#39; Stephen Amidon writes that le Carr&eacute;&#39;s &quot;narrative power and abiding humanity remain intact&quot; while Barry Forshaw in the <em>Daily Express</em> praises his &quot;idiosyncratic characterisation and elegant prose&quot;.</p><p>Hari Kunzru in the Saturday <em>Guardian</em> states that <em>A Most . . . </em>is &quot;an uneven book, but despite its flaws it stands as one of the most sophisticated fictional responses to the war on terror yet published, a humane novel&quot;.</p><p>Other critics were more damning. Gilbert Adair writing in the <em>Financial Times</em> found the novel a &quot;startlingly slipshod effort&quot;, concluding: &quot;it felt to me throughout . . . that the job le Carr&eacute; was attempting to do is performed more thoroughly and hauntingly by investigative journalism&quot;.<br />Two reviews in the <em>Independent</em> reflect the critics&#39; diverging views, with Tim Martin on Saturday approving of le Carr&eacute;&#39;s &quot;rare lightness of touch&quot;, adding &quot;[he] creates plausible, breathing characters . . . black, brilliant, hypnotic stuff&quot;, while Joan Smith writing on Friday complains: &quot;It is fiction as polemic . . . a surprisingly dull read&quot;.</p><p>A considered response comes from former director general of MI5, Stella Rimington, who writes in the <em>Daily Mail</em> &quot;I award <em>A Most . . . </em>eight marks for readability and style, but no more than four marks for reality.&quot;<br /></p>