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Charles Cumming - Author

About the Author

Charles Cumming was our Guest Editor in March 2013 - click here - to see the books that inspired his writing.

Charles Cumming was born in Scotland in 1971. He has been described as ‘the man who most successfully gets under the skin of Britain’s intelligence agencies’ (The Times). In the summer of 1995, he was approached for recruitment by the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6). A year later he moved to Montreal where he began working on a novel based on his experiences with MI6, and A Spy by Nature was published in the UK in 2001.

 

Author photo © Toby Madden

Featured books by Charles Cumming

The Trinity Six

The Trinity Six

Author: Charles Cumming Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/02/2011

Europe is still littered with the darkest secrets of the Cold War. And the most deadly revelation of them all is about to be made! Hard-up Russia expert Dr Sam Gaddis finally has a lead for a book that could set his career back on track. He has staggering new information about an unknown sixth member of the infamous Cambridge spy ring -- a man who has evaded detection for his entire life. But when his source suddenly dies, Gaddis is left with just shreds of his investigation, and no idea that he is already in too deep. He is threatened, betrayed, hunted -- and alone. To get his life back, he must scour a continent still laced with lies to find the truth behind the Trinity Six. Both Moscow and MI6 will use everything in their power to keep their fragile peace intact. But why murder people to hide secrets that should by now be history? Gaddis starts to understand -- far too late -- that he is closing in on a discovery that will shake Europe to its foundations!

ebook of the month

Other books by Charles Cumming

Foreign Country

Foreign Country

Author: Charles Cumming Format: eBook Release Date: 07/08/2012

From the internationally acclaimed, New York Times bestselling author of The Trinity Six, comes a compelling tale of deceit and betrayal, conspiracy and redemptionOn the vacation of a lifetime in Egypt, an elderly French couple are brutally murdered. Days later, a meticulously-planned kidnapping takes place on the streets of Paris. Amelia Levene, the first female Chief of MI6, has disappeared without a trace, six weeks before she is due to take over as the most influential spy in Europe. It is the gravest crisis MI6 has faced in more than a decade. Desperate not only to find her, but to keep her disappearance a secret, Britain's top intelligence agents turn to one of their own: disgraced MI6 officer Thomas Kell. Tossed out of the Service only months before, Kell is given one final chance to redeem himself - find Amelia Levene at any cost. The trail leads Kell to France and Tunisia, where he uncovers a shocking secret and a conspiracy that could have unimaginable repercussions for Britain and its allies. Only Kell stands in the way of personal and political catastrophe.A Foreign Country is one The Washington Post's Best Audiobooks of 2012.

Foreign Country

Foreign Country

Author: Charles Cumming Format: eBook Release Date: 29/03/2012

Winner of the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger 2012 for Best Thriller of the Year. Selected by Sunday Times Books of the Year and The Guardian as Best Thriller of the Year. Perfect for fans of John le Carre, a gripping and suspenseful spy thriller from `the master of the modern spy thriller' (Mail on Sunday)Six weeks before she is due to take up her position as the first female head of MI6, Amelia Levene vanishes without a trace.Her disappearance is the gravest crisis MI6 has faced for more than a decade. There has been no ransom demand, no word from foreign intelligence services, no hint of a defection.Should news of Levene's disappearance leak out, the consequences would be catastrophic. But for disgraced MI6 officer Thomas Kell, the crisis offers a chance for redemption. He is approached by his former employers and ordered to find her.Kell's search takes him first to France, then North Africa, where he discovers an extraordinary secret hidden deep in Levene's past. it is a secret that could fatally compromise Britain's national security - and for which Kell could pay with his life.This is another first-rate intelligent thriller which will cement Cumming's reputation as one of the most engaging British novelists writing today.

A Foreign Country

A Foreign Country

Author: Charles Cumming Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 29/03/2012

Winner of the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger 2012 for Best Thriller of the Year. Selected by Sunday Times Books of the Year and The Guardian as Best Thriller of the Year. Perfect for fans of John le Carre, a gripping and suspenseful spy thriller from 'the master of the modern spy thriller' (Mail on Sunday) Six weeks before she is due to take up her position as the first female head of MI6, Amelia Levene vanishes without a trace. Her disappearance is the gravest crisis MI6 has faced for more than a decade. There has been no ransom demand, no word from foreign intelligence services, no hint of a defection. Should news of Levene's disappearance leak out, the consequences would be catastrophic. But for disgraced MI6 officer Thomas Kell, the crisis offers a chance for redemption. He is approached by his former employers and ordered to find her. Kell's search takes him first to France, then North Africa, where he discovers an extraordinary secret hidden deep in Levene's past. it is a secret that could fatally compromise Britain's national security - and for which Kell could pay with his life. This is another first-rate intelligent thriller which will cement Cumming's reputation as one of the most engaging British novelists writing today.

Trinity Six

Trinity Six

Author: Charles Cumming Format: eBook Release Date: 15/03/2011

A Washington Post Notable Fiction Book for 2011The most closely-guarded secret of the Cold War is about to be exposed - the identity of a SIXTH member of the infamous Cambridge spy ring. And people are killing for it... London, 1992. Late one night, Edward Crane, 76, is declared dead at a London hospital. An obituary describes him only as a 'resourceful career diplomat'. But Crane was much more than that - and the circumstances surrounding his death are far from what they seem. Fifteen years later, academic Sam Gaddis needs money. When a journalist friend asks for his help researching a possible sixth member of the notorious Trinity spy ring, Gaddis knows that she's onto a story that could turn his fortunes around. But within hours the journalist is dead, apparently from a heart attack. Taking over her investigation, Gaddis trails a man who claims to know the truth about Edward Crane. Europe still echoes with decades of deadly disinformation on both sides of the Iron Curtain. And as Gaddis follows a series of leads across the continent, he approaches a shocking revelation - one which will rock the foundations of politics from London to Moscow..."e;Cumming's novel is characterized by a gripping sense of realism. He displays a vast knowledge of spycraft and Cold War history, and the dense, three-dimensional world he crafts comes complete with seedy hotels and smoky nightclubs. The result is absolutely gripping. Taut, atmospheric and immersive-an instant classic."e; - Kirkus Reviews (starred review) on The Trinity SixThe Trinity Six is a Kirkus Reviews Best of 2011 Thrillers title.

Trinity Six

Trinity Six

Author: Charles Cumming Format: eBook Release Date: 03/02/2011

Europe is still littered with the darkest secrets of the Cold War. And the most deadly revelation of them all is about to be made...Hard-up Russia expert Dr Sam Gaddis finally has a lead for a book that could set his career back on track. He has staggering new information about an unknown sixth member of the infamous Cambridge spy ring - a man who has evaded detection for his entire life.But when his source suddenly dies, Gaddis is left with just shreds of his investigation, and no idea that he is already in too deep. He is threatened, betrayed, hunted - and alone. To get his life back, he must scour a continent still laced with lies to find the truth behind the Trinity Six.Both Moscow and MI6 will use everything in their power to keep their fragile peace intact. But why murder people to hide secrets that should by now be history? Gaddis starts to understand - far too late - that he is closing in on a discovery that will shake Europe to its foundations...

Alec Milius Spy Series Books 1 and 2: A Spy By Nature, The Spanish Game

Alec Milius Spy Series Books 1 and 2: A Spy By Nature, The Spanish Game

Author: Charles Cumming Format: eBook Release Date: 03/02/2011

This ebook omnibus edition brings together Charles Cumming's two classic Alex Milius novels, also offering readers a sample of his following novel The Trinity Six.A SPY BY NATUREAlec Milius is young, smart, ambitious and comfortable with deceit. So when a chance encounter leads him to MI6, Alec thinks he's landed the perfect job for his talents. But working alone, relying on instinct, he's soon spinning a web of deception that has him caught between his new masters and powerful opponents. For in his new line of work the difference between the truth and a lie can be the difference between life and death. And Alec is having trouble telling them apart ...THE SPANISH GAMEAlec Milius quit the spying game six years ago - or so he thought.Living in exile in Madrid, he is lured back into a brutal world of lies and deception by the mysterious disappearance of a prominent politician. Forced to work alone, without the support of his former masters in London, Alec comes face to face with the nightmare of modern terror. And this time there's no-one to call for help...