One of Parade's Most Anticipated Books of 2022!
A secret agent comes of age—and reckons with the legacy of his first mission—in this thriller by New York Times-bestseller Charles Cumming, “the best of the new generation of British spy writers” (The Observer)
Lachlan Kite is a member of BOX 88, an elite transatlantic black ops outfit so covert that not even MI6 and the CIA are certain of its existence — but even the best spy can’t anticipate every potential threat in a world where dangerous actors lurk around every corner. At the funeral of his childhood best friend, Lachlan falls into a trap that drops him into the hands of a potentially deadly interrogation, with his pregnant wife, also abducted, being held as collateral for the information he’s sworn on his own life to protect.
Thirty years earlier Lachlan, then just out of the upper class boarding school where he was reared, was BOX 88’s newest recruit. In the haze of a gap year summer, in which the study of spycraft was intertwined with a journey of self-discovery, he cut his teeth on a special assignment on the coast of France, where a friendship allowed him special access to one of Iran’s most dangerous men. Today, Lachlan’s nostalgia for the trip is corrupted by recollection of the deceit that accompanied it but, in order to save his family, he’ll be forced to revisit those painful memories one last time.
A pulse-pounding narrative that straddles two eras — 1989 and 2020 — BOX 88 is a “wonderfully taut, exciting and up-to-date spy thriller” that introduces a compelling new character and a captivating international storyline (Spectator, Books of the Year).
Lachlan Kite, the hero of this excellent spy thriller from bestseller Cumming (The Moroccan Girl), is a career man at Box 88, a joint British-U.S. black ops outfit so secretive that not even the CIA and MI5 are sure it exists. While attending a funeral outside London for an old prep school friend who died by suicide, Kite lets down his guard and is kidnapped by an Iranian team that wants information on a case he was involved in 30 years earlier. His pregnant wife is also abducted as part of the plot to pressure Kite into revealing his secrets. Flashbacks to 1989 show Kite as a green operative prone to professional insecurity, missteps, and major flubs. In the present, Kite's decades of experience as a spy provide him with the skills to turn the tables on his kidnappers during his interrogation. Between the two time frames, a thorough portrait of Kite emerges. Well-timed action scenes match focused glimpses into the world of spycraft. This outing cements Cumming's place in the top rank of espionage writers.
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