A vivid and gripping novel from ‘the master of the modern spy thriller’ (Mail on Sunday) which sees Alec Milius coaxed back into the secret world to face the uncontainable danger of 21st century terrorism…
For six years, Alec Milius has escaped the past. In Madrid, he has rebuilt his life, but remains in exile and in danger.
Slightly older, and much wiser, than the young spy who first impressed MI6, he has kept his fatal attraction to secrets. So when a prominent politician mysteriously disappears, Alec is lured back into the spying game.
Only this time he operates without the protection of any official agency – isolated and expendable, with nobody to turn to if things go wrong. And they soon do.
But when Alec is confronted with the nightmare of modern terrorism, he is given one last chance for redemption…
Praise for A SPANISH GAME:
'A cracking good spy thriller… the serprentine twists and the unflaggingly realistic suspense leave you breathless, but spellbound’ Daily Mail
'The Man who most successfully gets under the skin of Britain's intelligence agencies' The Times
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 Carré' Robert Harris, author of Fatherland and The Ghost
'A wholly compelling and sophisticated spy novel – vivid and disturbing – immaculately researched and full of harrowing contemporary relevance' William Boyd, author of Restless
‘Terrific…vividly realised…as strong on emotional literacy as it is on spycraft’ New Statesman
About the author
Charles Cumming was born in Scotland in 1971. He was educated at Eton and graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1994 with First Class Honours in English Literature. The Observer has described him as "the best of the new generation of British spy writers who are taking over where John le Carré and Len Deighton left off". In the summer of 1995, Charles 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. A Spy By Nature was published in the UK in 2001. This is his fifth novel.
Alec Milius, the protagonist of Cumming's well-received first novel, A Spy by Nature (2007), has created a new life in Madrid working as a researcher for a British private bank in this sterling sequel. His former employer, MI6, dismissed him in disgrace after a plot against the CIA went wrong. Alec lives alone, constantly watching for agents from his past who he thinks are intent on hunting him down and exacting revenge. He's having an affair with his boss's wife, drinks too much and is consumed by regret and guilt. When his boss, Julian Church, sends him to Basque country on a project, he meets Mikel Arenaza, a former member of the ETA, the Basque separatist party, who quickly turns up dead. The plot is pleasingly convoluted, the twists unexpected, the characters flawed and interesting. This is spy fiction of the highest order; Cumming deserves to be ranked with the best of the genre's practitioners.
Too many characters
Plot seemed a bit convoluted plus a range of Spanish names made it quite difficult to follow at times. Not his best.
What was that all about?
Impossibly complex, it was like reading the personal diary of a boring, self obsessed, spent force. If there was a story hidden in the book, I failed to find it.