A Divided Spy by Charles Cumming

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A Divided Spy by Charles Cumming was an Advanced Readers Copy from St. Martin’s Press.  The book will be published on February 14, 2017.  This the third novel in the Thomas Kell series and falls firmly in the Espionage subgenre of the Thriller genre.

This is my first book by Charles Cumming and I must admit I’m completely hooked.  I’m a sucker for espionage novels and movies.  I blame Ian Fleming because as a child I read and reread his novels time and again.  As an adult, I admit I’m more in love with onscreen James Bond then the modern literary interpretations.  But I do love a well written spy thriller.  Charles Cumming did not let me down, in fact he utterly captivated me.

Thomas Kell is out of MI6 when an old acquaintance lures him back in to the world of espionage and intrigue.  Is it too good to be true?  Can he avenge the murder of the woman he loved?  So begins the tale of Thomas Kell and where the story takes him is right into the headlines of today.  How does ISIS, the SVR, and Russian politics tie together and can Thomas Kell put the pieces together in time?

This is a superbly written novel.  If you enjoy the Gabriel Allon series by Daniel Silva then you will enjoy the writing of Charles Cumming.  The underlying tension and conflict present in Allon novels is also present here.  The sense of duty and personal loss.  The glamorization of espionage is missing and yet the reader will never miss those interludes with fast cars and loose women. 

I would love to sit down and pick Thomas Kell’s brain over a good glass of whiskey.  His insight and his take on world politics and the things government’s do, or do not do, would be fascinating.  His years spent in service of Her Majesty’s Government and the the changes in the world in his years of service would make for an intense but immensely insightful conversation.

Five stars out of five stars for a novel I couldn’t put down and finished in one day.  I will be passing the novel on to family members.  I will be reading the previous two novels and the other series from Charles Cumming.

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