A foreign country

Charles Cumming, 1971-

Book - 2012

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FICTION/Cumming Charles
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Genres
Mystery fiction
Spy stories
Published
New York : St. Martin's Press 2012.
Edition
1st U.S. ed
Language
English
Item Description
"First published in Great Britain by HarperCollinsPublishers"--T.p. verso.
Physical Description
357 p. ; 25 cm
ISBN
9780312591335
0312591330
Main Author
Charles Cumming, 1971- (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Amelia Levene and Thomas Kell, once colleagues as MI6 field agents, have seen their careers move in opposite directions. Amelia is about to become the first woman to head the agency, leapfrogging ambitious—but less talented—male bureaucrats. Kell has been forced into retirement, scapegoated by those same bureaucrats in the wake of revelations and uproar about torture. Kell is recalled because Amelia abruptly takes a week's leave in the south of France and, even more abruptly, disappears into thin air. Kell's job is to find her. This plot synopsis is mere prelude. Cumming, once recruited to MI6, has fashioned a gripping story of conspiracy, the Arab Spring, MI6 politics, maternal love, and a man with a "talent for the clandestine." Amelia and Kell are complex, engaging characters, and Kell's tradecraft will delight espionage lovers. The conspiracy might strain credulity a bit, but stranger things have happened in the Great Game, and Cumming's track record (The Trinity Six, 2011) ensures demand for this one. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Even as an elderly French couple are murdered in Egypt and a young accountant is snatched in Paris, Amelie Levene—about to become the first female chief of M16—vanishes in the south of France. Former M16 officer Thomas Kell appears to be the only person capable of figuring out what links these events. One of the publisher's biggest books of the month. [Page 90]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

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 Carré, Olen Steinhauer, and David Ignatius. [See Prepub Alert, 2/12/12; 100,000-copy first printing.] [Page 74]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Even as an elderly French couple is murdered in Egypt and a young French accountant is snatched from the streets of Paris, Amelie Levene-about to become the first female chief of M16-vanishes in the south of France. Former M16 officer Thomas Kell, now in bad odor with the service, appears to be the only person capable of finding Levene and figuring out what links the three events. One of the publisher's biggest books of the month and a juicy-sounding follow-up to the best-selling The Trinity Six. - "Christian Fiction " LJ Reviews 2/16/2012 (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Bestseller Cumming follows 2011's The Trinity Six with another superb stand-alone, which opens in 1978 Tunisia, where Amelia Weldon, a 20-year-old British au pair, is having an affair with her expatriate French employer. Fast forward to the present, to the brutal, apparently random murder of a retired French couple on an Egyptian beach; the abduction of a target referred to as HOLST on the streets of Paris; and the disappearance of the much older Weldon on the eve of her becoming chief of the U.K.'s Secret Intelligence Service, MI6. The agency taps Thomas Kell, a former MI6 operative "turfed out in disgrace," to find out what's become of her. Starting out in Nice, Kell trails Weldon to Tunisia, where she turns up with a much younger man in tow. Cumming is particularly skilled at sketching his characters, most notably Kell (a classically reluctant spy) and Weldon, who's haunted by personal demons central to the elaborate puzzle of a story. The elegant prose will appeal to those who don't usually read spy fiction. 100,000 first printing. Agent: Luke Janklow, Janklow & Nesbit. (Aug.) [Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

Review by Publisher Summary 1

When a newly appointed first female Chief of MI6 disappears weeks after two possibly related cases, disgraced former MI6 officer Thomas Kell is offered a chance to redeem his career by conducting a discreet operation that uncovers a shocking conspiracy.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

When a newly appointed first female Chief of MI6 disappears weeks after two possibly related cases, disgraced former MI6 officer Thomas Kell is offered a chance to redeem his career by conducting a discreet operation that uncovers a shocking conspiracy. By the best-selling author of The Trinity Six. 100,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

From the internationally acclaimed, New York Times bestselling author ofThe Trinity Six, comes a compelling tale of deceit and betrayal, conspiracy and redemptionOn the vacation of a lifetime in Egypt, an elderly French couple are brutally murdered. Days later, a meticulously-planned kidnapping takes place on the streets of Paris. Amelia Levene, the first female Chief of MI6, has disappeared without a trace, six weeks before she is due to take over as the most influential spy in Europe. It is the gravest crisis MI6 has faced in more than a decade. Desperate not only to find her, but to keep her disappearance a secret, Britain’s top intelligence agents turn to one of their own: disgraced MI6 officer Thomas Kell. Tossed out of the Service only months before, Kell is given one final chance to redeem himself - find Amelia Levene at any cost. The trail leads Kell to France and Tunisia, where he uncovers a shocking secret and a conspiracy that could have unimaginable repercussions for Britain and its allies. Only Kell stands in the way of personal and political catastrophe.