A divided spy

Charles Cumming, 1971-

Book - 2017

"Thomas Kell thought he was done with spying. A former MI6 officer, he devoted his life to the Service, but it has left him with nothing but grief and a simmering anger against the Kremlin. Then Kell is offered an unexpected chance at revenge. Taking the law into his own hands, he embarks on a mission to recruit a top Russian spy who is in possession of a terrifying secret. As Kell tracks his man from Moscow to London, he finds himself in a high stakes game of cat and mouse in which it beco...mes increasingly difficult to know who is playing whom. As the mission reaches boiling point, the threat of a catastrophic terrorist attack looms over Britain. Kell is faced with an impossible choice. Loyalty to MI6--or to his own conscience?"--

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Series
Cumming, Charles, 1971- Thomas Kell novels.
Genres
Spy stories
Published
New York : St. Martin's Press 2017.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
358 pages ; 25 cm
ISBN
9781250021045
1250021049
Main Author
Charles Cumming, 1971- (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Spies have been coming in from the cold for decades, of course, most notably in le Carré but also in the work of many other espionage novelists of the last 50 years. In fact, one could say that disenchantment with the secret world and the toll it takes on the individual human life is the quintessential theme of the modern spy novel.Add Cumming's Thomas Kell to the growing list of chilled-to-the-bone spies craving warmth. After appearing to have made his break from MI6 following the death of his lover, Rachel, killed by the Russians in A Colder War (2014), Kell can't resist the opportunity to extract some sweet revenge. Learning that Russian spymaster Alexander Minasian, who may have green-lighted Rachel's murder, has been observed having a lover's quarrel with another man, Kell, working on his own, sets up a honey trap to ensnare his prey. It all goes according to plan until it doesn't. Gradually, Kell finds himself sympathizing with Minasian, who, like Kell himself, is just another victim of "the whole sorry dance of sex and yearning, of love and betrayal." Eventually, with both MI6 and Minasian's Soviet masters in the game and tasting blood, Kell sets out to carve a separate peace for two spies on opposite sides who have realized that "the profession they had chosen has left both of them broken and compromised and alone." Cumming not only tells a moving human story here, he also constructs an airtight espionage plot full of unanticipated twists and leading up to a perfectly orchestrated finale.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Cumming's previous seven novels have all been successes, but this could be his breakthrough book. A large first printing and major marketing campaign will help. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

In bestseller Cumming's nuanced, suspenseful third Thomas Kell novel (after 2014's A Colder War), the London-based former MI6 agent, who's been a private citizen for 12 months since the assassination in Istanbul of his girlfriend and fellow spy, Rachel Wallinger, receives a call from Harold Mowbray, a private contractor with whom he has worked on several missions. Mowbray wants to have a face-to-face chat, and they agree to meet at a Middle Eastern restaurant that evening. Over dinner, Mowbray reveals that during a recent vacation with his wife to an Egyptian Red Sea resort he spotted Russian SVR officer Alexander Minasian, whom Kell holds personally responsible for Rachel's death. Kell sets up a trap using Minasian's lover, Bernhard Riedle, and persuades his old boss, SIS chief Amelia Levene, to help him capture Minasian. The hows and whys of the mission slowly unfold in a perfectly constructed plot that proves once again that Cumming is among today's top spy thriller writers. After a complicated, riveting finale, a moving coda suggests that readers may have seen the last of Thomas Kell. Say it ain't so, Charles. 75,000 announced first printing; author tour. Agent: Luke Janklow, Janklow & Nesbit. (Feb.) Copyright 2016 Publisher Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Former MI6 officer Thomas Kell takes the law into his own hands when an unexpected chance at revenge compels him to track a top Russian spy in possession of a terrifying secret, only to find himself embroiled in a high-stakes game of cat and mouse.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Former MI6 officer Thomas Kell takes the law into his own hands when an unexpected chance at revenge compels him to track a top Russian spy in possession of a terrifying secret, only to find himself embroiled in a high-stakes game of cat and mouse. By the best-selling author of The Trinity Six.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

"Thomas Kell thought he was done with spying. A former MI6 officer, he devoted his life to the Service, but it has left him with nothing but grief and a simmering anger against the Kremlin. Then Kell is offered an unexpected chance at revenge. Taking thelaw into his own hands, he embarks on a mission to recruit a top Russian spy who is in possession of a terrifying secret. As Kell tracks his man from Moscow to London, he finds himself in a high stakes game of cat and mouse in which it becomes increasingly difficult to know who is playing whom. As the mission reaches boiling point, the threat of a catastrophic terrorist attack looms over Britain. Kell is faced with an impossible choice. Loyalty to MI6--or to his own conscience?"--

Review by Publisher Summary 4

In this brilliant novel of modern espionage by New York Times bestselling author Charles Cumming, MI6’s Thomas Kell faces off against a handsome and charismatic Russian double agent.

Review by Publisher Summary 5

In A Divided Spy, a brilliant novel of modern espionage by New York Times bestselling author Charles Cumming, MI6’s Thomas Kell faces off against a handsome and charismatic Russian double agent."Astonishingly masterful . . . riveting." —Valerie Plame, New York Times bestselling author of Fair GameThomas Kell thought he was done with spying. A former MI6 officer, he devoted his life to the Service, but it has left him with nothing but grief and a simmering anger against the Kremlin.Then Kell is offered an unexpected chance at revenge. Taking the law into his own hands, he embarks on a mission to recruit a top Russian spy who is in possession of a terrifying secret. As Kell tracks his man from Moscow to London, he finds himself in a high stakes game of cat and mouse in which it becomes increasingly difficult to know who is playing whom.As the mission reaches boiling point, the threat of a catastrophic terrorist attack looms over Britain. Kell is faced with an impossible choice. Loyalty to MI6—or to his own conscience?