From the winner of the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger 2012 for Best Thriller of the Year comes a gripping and suspenseful new spy novel.
Perfect for fans of John le Carré, Charles Cumming is ‘the master of the modern spy thriller’ (Mail on Sunday)
Thomas Kell is a disgraced agent who longs to come in from the cold. When MI6’s top spy in Turkey is killed in a mysterious plane crash, his chance arrives… for Kell is the only man Service Chief Amelia Levene can trust to investigate the accident.
In Istanbul, Kell soon discovers that there is a traitor inside Western Intelligence. Then he meets Rachel- the dead spy’s daughter- and the stakes grow higher still.
From London to Greece and into Eastern Europe, Kell tracks the mole. But a betrayal close to home transforms the operation into something more personal. Soon Kell will stop at nothing to see it through.
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’ Sun
‘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’ Spectator
‘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’ Independent
‘For those hungering for a new John le Carré, Charles Cumming has inherited the master’s mantle. His new book, A Colder War, features sinister goings-on in spook-infested Istanbul’ Sunday Times
‘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’ Press Association
‘Edgily elegant … perfect for those wanting a contemporary spy thriller in the vein of Le Carré 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’ 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
‘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
About the author
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. A Colder War is his seventh novel.
Cumming's intricate sequel to 2012's A Foreign Country finds British operative Thomas Kell, who's been indefinitely suspended from the SIS, reevaluating his life between pints of pale ale at a London pub. But when the call comes from "C" SIS's first female chief, Amelia Levene Kell is back in the game, tasked with unraveling the mystery surrounding the suspicious death of Paul Wallinger, an SIS agent stationed in Turkey who happened to be C's former lover. The death, coupled with the murders of a growing number of "assets" throughout the region and the failure of numerous joint operations between SIS and the CIA, point to a mole inside western intelligence whose existence threatens every SIS operation and operative in the Middle East. It's hard not to root for a character like Kell deeply cynical but still very much an idealist and the bombshell plot twists toward the novel's conclusion will have spy fiction aficionados eagerly awaiting the next installment.