Competition: Invent a spy and WIN

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We don’t normally cover much espionage here at Crime Fiction Lover, otherwise we’d be called Spy Fiction Lover. (Hey… now there’s an idea.) But when Focus Features got in touch about the US release of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – the motion picture adaptation of the le Carré novel starring Gary Oldman and John Hurt – we couldn’t say no. After all, it’s a chance to offer you some really fun prizes including a voice recorder pen, a copy of the book, and more. We have two prize bundles to give away – all you have to do is invent your own spy character and tell us about them on Twitter. What better way to start off 2012?

The film comes out in the United States on 6 January and was directed by the Swede Tomas Alfredson. His previous credits include Låt den rätte komma in (Let the Right One In) and as with that excellent film Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is atmospheric, cerebral and full of quietly building menace. As in any spy thriller there’s murder and villainy, but here we have a film full of lingering tension without the need for improbable fist fights, thousands of rounds of ammunition or exploding helicopters. The cast also includes Colin Firth, Kathy Burke and Benedict Cumberbatch (who plays Holmes in the BBC’s Conan Doyle reboot Sherlock). I’ve seen it and I think you’ll like it.

Each of our two winners will receive: a copy of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy with the movie tie-in cover; a t-shirt; a voice recorder pen; and a Post-it Note Cube. Each prize bundle is worth $43 – not to be sniffed at. And if you were a British spy in 1973, all of these prizes would have come in handy in keeping the Soviets at bay.

How to enter
As with our last major competition, we want you to get involved and get creative. To enter, follow these simple steps:

1 – Invent a spy character. They can be a spy, a mole, a special forces operative, nuclear scientist – anything you like.
2 – Tweet the name and/or alias of your character to @CriFiLover on Twitter, including your name and a short description of your undercover personna. End your tweet with the hashtag #CFLxTTSS.

The two people who invent the best spies as judged by the CFL editor will win the prizes, and we’ll post some of the best ones here on the site. Have fun with it and enter as many times as you like. It doesn’t matter where you’re based – Focus Features will send the prizes anywhere in the world. The competition will last for one week, so your entry needs to be online no later than midnight GMT on Friday 13 January 2012. The other rules are: There is no cash alternative. The judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

Below you can watch the actors and director talking about the genius of John le Carré, as well as a trailer for the film. There’s also a link to buy the book.

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