desmond elliott 2017 rebus 30th anniversary
Search our site
Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber Read the opening extract of the brand new Kathleen Barber book before its publication on 27/12/2017

Reader Reviewed
A Foreign Country by Charles Cumming
  

A Foreign Country

Part of the Thomas Kell Spy Thriller Series
Action Adventure / Spy   All Shortlists and Winners   Books for the Boys   Books of the Month   Thriller / Suspense   eBook Favourites   eBook Favourites   
Download an extract Discuss on Facebook Discuss this book on our Crime/Mystery/Thriller Facebook group Share this book

Selected by Sarah Broadhurst

One of our Books of the Year 2013.

This is another first-rate crime novel, perfect for fans of John le Carre, from an author who is establishing himself as the pre-eminent writer of the modern spy thriller. The soon to be head of MI6 goes missing and a disgraced ex-spy is approached to find her without the news of her disappearance becoming public knowledge. We were hooked!

April 2013 Book of the Month.

reader reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for A Foreign Country a small number of Lovereading members were lucky enough to be invited to review this title - 'A pacey read, with lots of plot twists and action to keep the pages turning...' - Catherine Humphris. Scroll down to read more reviews.

Winner of the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger 2012.

Charles Cumming said "For spy writers, the Steel Dagger is our Booker prize, so I'm thrilled to have won such a prestigious award. Some great writers have picked up the Steel Dagger, including Henry Porter, Dan Fesperman and Tom Rob Smith. I'm honoured to have joined their ranks."

CWA Judges' comment: “Contemporary spy thriller. Gripping premise, expertly sustained, lots of believable spycraft and memorable supporting characters.”

Winner of the Bloody Scotland Crime Book of the Year 2012.

For some further intrigue, click here to see The Trinity Six by the same author.

If you like Charles Cumming you might also like to read books by Mark Oldfield, Alan Furst and Dan Festerman.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst

Win a Family Break to Salisbury!

Don’t miss out! Enter to win a family break to Salisbury!

Here at Lovereading.co.uk and Lovereading4kids.co.uk we have joined with VisitWiltshire. You could see yourself indulging in the finest food and slumbering comfortably into one of the grand rooms at The Red Lion Salisbury for two nights. The Red Lion Hotel is located in medieval city of Salisbury, which is home to all your favourite stores as well as independent shops, restaurants, cafes and parks and green spaces. Nearby is Stonehenge, Salisbury Plain and numerous sites of historic and archaeological interest.

There are many seasonal events in Salisbury, and you can find out what’s on here. You will also receive a family ticket to Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, the gardens are especially beautiful in the winter, with bold coloured stems, scents, and fabulous foliage, you can be sure to be impressed. For the children there is also a play park, and you can stop off in the Victorian tea room to warm up and treat yourself to a traditional cream tea.

To have a chance of winning this fantastic prize, click the button below. Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once. Entries close 31st January 2018.

Good luck!

Terms and Conditions

Red Lion: Two night stay includes breakfast for two adults and up to two children sharing a family room. Subject to availability and cannot be exchanged or redeemed for cash value. Not to be used in combination with any other offer. Valid until 1st Dec 2018 and excludes bank holidays.

Sir Harold Hillier Gardens: Valid for day entry, Not to be used for special events or group entry. Voucher is not transferable or refundable, no Cash Value. Ticket must be redeemed on entry. Valid until 31 Dec 2018. Gardens open daily from 10am – closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Prize admits 2 adults and accompanying children Under 17 FREE to Sir Harold Hillier Gardens.

Enter prize draw Draw closes: 31/01/2018

Synopsis

A Foreign Country by Charles Cumming

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.

Reviews

We have asked a select number of members and browsers to review A Foreign Country. You can read their reviews below.

Catherine Humphris - 'A pacey read, with lots of plot twists and action to keep the pages turning...would recommend it to anyone looking for an afternoon of escapism.' Click here to read the full review.

Nic Walshaw - 'This is the first Charles Cumming book I have had the opportunity to read. I must say I am impressed and will be seeking out other titles by this author to read as well...Very pacey and not 'put-down-able' – a good enthralling read.' Click here to read the full review.

Tracey Poulter - 'The people and settings are well-developed and make the reader want to discover more about the lives and motivation of the main characters– how and why have they come to be in their current predicament?' Click here to read the full review.

Kathy Howell - 'I enjoy spy novels and this didn’t disappoint...This is well written and moves along quickly to keep you interested throughout.' Click here to read the full review.

Kath Thornton - 'This is the first Charles Cumming novel I have read and it certainly didn't disappoint.The short chapters of this spy thriller make it move along at a fast pace and keep you turning the pages. It is full of twists and turns right to the last page.' Click here to read the full review.

Manisha Natha - 'I loved this book. Found it interesting, fast paced and well written. I finished this book in three days and did not want to put it down.' Click here to read the full review.

Debbie Patrick - 'This book although very well written seemed to me very slow to get going. ..However, I have got to say that the last 100 or so pages the book seemed to move on quite considerably & I did at that time found that I enjoyed it much more.' Click here to read the full review.

Praise for Charles Cumming:

'The spook tradecraft is unerringly accurate ... We are in Smiley country, but with extra 21st century nuance ... Cumming has an exquisite touch and we should treasure him'
Daily Mail

'A rollercoaster of a ride ... Bang up-to-date and well-written spy thriller'
The Sun

'Powerful ****'
Mirror

'Don't start this novel close to bedtime: you are likely to be up for most of the night to find out how it ends. It grips the reader's attention from the first page, and there is no skipping paragraphs. Every word matters ... It is all eminently plausible ... A fast-moving treat'
The Scotsman

'Refreshing, plausible and effective ... Best of all is the sheer pace of the narrative ... This book is perfect travel reading because, once you've started it, it's not easy to put it down'
The Spectator Praise for Charles Cumming:

'From the first page to the last it has the ring of absolute authenticity. Tautly written, cleverly plotted...it reminded me strongly of the early books of John le Carre'
Robert Harris

About the Author

Charles Cumming

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

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading similar books...
Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

28th March 2013

Author

Charles Cumming

More books by Charles Cumming
Author 'Like for Like'
    recommendations

Author's Website

www.charlescumming.co.uk/

Author's Facebook Latest

Loading facebook updates...
Loading twitter updates...

Publisher

Harper an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Format

Paperback
416 pages

Categories

Action Adventure / Spy
All Shortlists and Winners
Books for the Boys
Books of the Month
Thriller / Suspense
eBook Favourites
eBook Favourites

Espionage & spy thriller

ISBN

9780007346431

Hooked on books? Give Lovereading a go - for the chance to discover brilliant books, and to see why our members love it so.

Claire Hill

I love the 'like for like' author recommendations, it's like an old friend whispering in your ear.

Emma Caddick

Lovereading recommends, honestly reviews and promotes books-what more can I say?!

Rachel Bridgeman

A great place to go to find your next literary escape, and where you don't have to judge a book by its cover!

Suzanne Beney

It's the first site that I visit when deciding on the next set of books to buy. A particular treat is being able to download an extract.

Tessa Olson

They are bright, breezy and eager to offer a great book, then genuinely listen/respect the review one writes.

Maggie Crane

Love Reading - it not only does what it says on the tin, it does it with Jam on!!

Maz Tucker

I love Lovereading because of its ability to connect people that love books & unite them in a friendly, stimulating & interesting community.

Megan Olwen William

Lovereading4kids

Lovereading4schools