A Foreign Country

A Foreign Country

[a Novel]

Book - 2012
Average Rating:
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A Foreign Country
Charles Cumming

On the vacation of a lifetime in Egypt, an elderly French couple is brutally murdered. Then, days later, on the streets of Paris, a young French accountant is kidnapped. When Amelia Levene, who in six weeks is due to take over as the first female Chief of MI6, disappears without a trace while in the south of France, it is the gravest crisis MI6 has faced in more than a decade. Desperate not only to find her but to keep the press from learning that she has gone missing, Britain's top intelligence agents turn to one of their own: disgraced former MI6 officer Thomas Kell.

Tossed out of the Service only months before, the spy is given one final chance to redeem himself--all he has to do is find Amelia Levene: quickly, quietly, and at any cost. Following an espionage trail that leads him to France and then Tunisia, Kell uncovers a shocking secret and a conspiracy that could have unimaginable repercussions for Britain and its allies. All that stands in the way of personal and political catastrophe is Kell himself...

Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, c2012
ISBN: 9781250029980
9780312591335
Branch Call Number: CUMMI
Characteristics: 357 p

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ChristchurchLib Aug 10, 2014

"When the newly appointed Chief of MI6 -- Amelia Levene, the first woman ever to take the post -- disappears just before taking office, disgraced former MI6 officer Thomas Kell is offered a chance to redeem his career by conducting a discreet operation to find her. He accepts, not expecting that in the course of his search he'll unearth a shocking conspiracy. Author Charles Cumming is known for a vast insider's knowledge of spycraft, well-crafted prose that's on the literary side, and engaging, intricate plots; A Foreign Country offers all of these plus lead characters who make realistic, if sometimes flawed, choices." Thrillers and Suspense August 2014 newsletter http://www.libraryaware.com/996/NewsletterIssues/ViewIssue/a29ef1be-0034-4294-98de-a41bf6022587?postId=b18f1914-360e-4962-9b7b-d06eb6c6fe57

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gvenkatesh
Aug 03, 2014

A finely woven spy vs spy novel that reads like a good low budget movie script as the characters are mostly working outside their respective national spy agency control and resources. Like a movie script, it moves fast without much depth and is easy to read. More like a hybrid of John le Carré and Graham Greene than like typical spy thrillers with intricate political conspiracies or a lot of gadgets/ammunition. Will appeal to those that like the former than the latter.

d
Dub
Jun 05, 2014

Cumming writes with ease and confidence. His strengths include creating a sense of place, well developed characters and story pacing that keeps the reader involved. Highly recommended for spy thriller aficionados.

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ffajmb
Apr 25, 2014

A very good read, fast paced sand interesting.

poppy2010 Jul 04, 2013

Another excellent and thought-provoking spy story that tells it 'as it is'.
Great detail, absolutely authentic ( 'this is how it is') type of story.

e
EmilyEm
May 17, 2013

?Retired? SIS officer Thomas Kell is called into to follow the new ?C? when she seemingly disappears from a painting class in France and heads to Tunisia. Who is the young man Kell sees her with? Lover? Or, someone more important?

I?ve heard this is the first of three thrillers for Cumming with this character. That?s great. I couldn?t put this book down! Better yet, Colin Firth is in line to play Thomas Kell in a movie version. Perfect. Now we just have to wait for more.

m
matcat44
Dec 16, 2012

I was thoroughly engrossed for the first part of the story, then the plot got disjointed to the point where I didn' t really care and as it got more rambling, I lost interest altogether.

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megaculpa
Nov 03, 2012

Another tightly-plotted and entertaining espionage thriller from this author. Hope he keeps them Cumming.

s
SportyReader
Sep 06, 2012

I like this book for the simple fact that it flies in the face of the standard spy thriller written by authors such as Brad Thor, Lee Child, Alex Berenson. Cliched, full of high octane rubbish and totally over the top.

This is more of what spy work should be up to: analysing intelligence, gathering data, surveillance.

The downside was that the story did not remain as compelling as it did initially, tapering off to what I can only say was "Blah."

It is a bit of a slow read, which gets slower as the disappointment of the story sets in, but it's still better than a typical Lee Child fare.

d
dcafk
Aug 29, 2012

This is an outstanding spy thriller. Timely, great plot, believeable characters--don't miss it.

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