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.
`We are in Smiley country, but with extra 21st century nuance ... Cumming has an exquisite touch and we should treasure him' Daily Mail
`A thriller that has everything you could ask for - a twisty, sexy plot, topical themes, memorable characters and plentiful spy lore' Sunday Times, Books of the Year
`Refreshing, plausible and effective ... Best of all is the sheer pace of the narrative' Spectator
`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' The Scotsman
Praise for Charles Cumming:
`Charles Cumming is a man put on this earth to perpetuate the spy thriller' Daily Telegraph
`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
Amelia Levene is about to become the first woman to run the British intelligence agency MI6 when she mysteriously disappears. Disgraced former officer Thomas Kell is recruited to find her. He quickly learns that she has not been kidnapped; she's hiding on purpose. What would motivate someone at the height of their career to give it all up? What he uncovers, with Levene's help, unveils a dark conspiracy that goes back years. VERDICT Cumming's sixth thriller (after The Trinity Six) simmers and crackles until the explosive finale. Where in other novels Kell would need the entire narrative to find Levene, he discovers her whereabouts almost immediately. That plot twist along with the surprises that follow make this a worthwhile read that will appeal especially to readers who appreciate John le Carre, Olen Steinhauer, and David Ignatius. [See Prepub Alert, 2/12/12; 100,000-copy first printing.] (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
In this audio edition of Cumming's thriller, narrator Jot Davies's crisp, stiff-upper-lip performance perfectly captures Thomas Kell, a former British agent who was unceremoniously dismissed from MI6 after two decades of service for his involvement in a torture scandal. But to his surprise, Kell's given a shot at reinstatement. All he has to do is find a missing person, the agency's first female chief, Amelia Levene, who went missing in France prior to her official appointment. Davis's characterizations are subtle but effective: a slightly softer delivery for females, an understated accent for French characters. His rendition of Amanda captures the character's sophisticated haughtiness, as well as her self-doubt, while his Kell remains unflappably British in his quest for answers and redemption. A St. Martin's hardcover. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.