In his splendid previous spy thriller A Foreign Country, Cumming introduced once-disgraced and now covertly back in the fold operative Thomas Kell and MI6’s first female head Amelia Levene. In his new book, they both appear again. Following the mysterious death of Turkey’s Head of Station the remaining evidence points Tom to a traitor inside Western Intelligence. Kell’s task of unravelling the conspiracy is not made any easier by disturbing news emerging from Levene’s own past. Tom Kell is more Smiley than James Bond and his adventures ring terribly true and easily sow many seeds of doubt about the undercurrent of world affairs in a disturbing perspective in this much up to date thriller. Cumming knows his stuff. ~ Maxim Jakubowski
A cracking story with all the ingredients of a Le Carré Smiley novel and then some! It is the second work to feature Thomas Kell, a disgraced spy introduced to us in A Foreign Country. It is up-to-date in dealing with the Irish question and although not quite so with Ukraine, it does give a good background to the present situation in a great adventure of cover-up, duplicity, betrayal and double agents. All very tense, complex and satisfying, it is a very fine spy novel indeed.
Perfect for fans of John le Carre, a gripping and suspenseful spy novel from 'the master of the modern spy thriller' (Mail on Sunday) MI6's Head of Station in Turkey is killed in a mysterious plane crash. Amelia Levene, chief of the Secret Intelligence Service, wants the incident investigated - quickly and quietly. The only man she can trust is Thomas Kell, a disgraced spy searching for redemption. Arriving in Istanbul, Kell discovers that MI6 operations in the region have been fatally compromised: a traitor inside Western Intelligence threatens not just the Special Relationship, but the security of the entire Middle East. Kell's search for the mole takes him from London, to Greece, and into Eastern Europe. But when Kell is betrayed by those closest to him, the stakes become personal. He will do anything to see this operation through - including putting himself, and others, in the line of fire...
Cumming is the writer who confidently reminded readers that the literary spy novel was still a genre with much to offer. His impressive books trade in the betrayals that are the sine qua non of the field – and the characterisation at times approaches the richness of an earlier generation of writers. His first, A Spy by Nature, was a disquieting study of young MI6 operative Alec (a nod to le Carré’s Alec Leamas). However, Cumming clearly had to move out from beneath the senior writer’s shadow – and A Colder War demonstrates how he continues to do just that.
Praise for A Colder War: 'The spy thriller has been on the ascendant in the past few years, breeding a bunch of talented writers, Cumming among the very best
The Times (Saturday Review)
'[A] cleverly plotted spy tale'
'A Colder War is more than an excellent thriller: it is also a novel that forces us to look behind the headlines and question some of our own comfortable assumptions'
'An espionage maestro ... The levels of psychological insight are married to genuine narrative acumen - but anyone who has read his earlier books will expect no less'
'For those hungering for a new John le Carre, Charles Cumming has inherited the master's mantle. His new book, A Colder War, features sinister goings-on in spook-infested Istanbul'
'There's a sense that Kell is developing into a Smiley for our times'
Mail on Sunday
'[Cumming] expertly recreates a world of waiting and watching where boredom is as much an enemy as other agents, and yet has still produced a page-turning thriller...If you thought true spy novels went out with the Berlin wall, think again'
'Edgily elegant ... perfect for those wanting a contemporary spy thriller in the vein of Le Carre and even for those who don't'
Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal Praise for A Foreign Country:
'We are in Smiley country, but with extra 21st century nuance ... Cumming has an exquisite touch and we should treasure him'
'A thriller that has everything you could ask for - a twisty, sexy plot, topical themes, memorable characters and plentiful spy lore'
'Refreshing, plausible and effective ... Best of all is the sheer pace of the narrative'
'You are likely to be up for most of the night to find out how this novel ends. It grips from the first page ... A fast-moving treat'
Publication date: 01/01/2015
Publisher: Harper an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 24/04/2014
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
|Publication date:||1st January 2015|
|Publisher:||Harper an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers|
|Genres:||Action Adventure / Spy, Thriller / Suspense,|
|Categories:||Espionage & spy thriller,|
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 &...More About Charles Cumming