- Series: Thomas Kell (Book 2)
- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; Reprint edition (June 16, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1250025540
- ISBN-13: 978-1250025548
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 254 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #259,541 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Colder War: A Novel (Thomas Kell) Paperback – June 16, 2015
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“Cumming has a growing reputation as the heir to the John Le Carré tradition in British fiction.” ―Alan Cheuse, NPR
“Compelling. . . complex. . . dangerous. . . Hard to put down.” ―Washington Post
“For those hungering for a new John le Carré, Charles Cumming has inherited the master's mantle.” ―The Sunday Times (London)
“One of the best books of 2014 thus far.” ―Bookreporter
“Cumming has established himself, along with Olen Steinhauer, as one of the best of today's old-school espionage novelists…We're in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy territory here, of course, but there are also hints of later le Carré, …Cumming is a master… Superb espionage fiction in the grand tradition.” ―Booklist (starred)
“Edgily elegant … perfect for those wanting a contemporary spy thriller in the vein of le Carré and even for those who don't.” ―Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal
“The bombshell plot twists toward the novel's conclusion will have spy fiction aficionados eagerly awaiting the next installment.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“Charles Cumming scores again with a smart, sexy thriller, reinventing the Russian-American-British triangle of espionage for a new generation.” ―Alex Berenson
“Eat your heart out, Daniel Craig...Cumming vividly showcases the undercover life of spies.” ―GQ on A Foreign Country
“A fast paced and absorbing spy thriller.” ―Wall Street Journal on A Foreign Country
“Simmers and crackles until the explosive finale.” ―Library Journal on A Foreign Country
“Cumming is particularly skilled at sketching his characters, most notably Kell (a classically reluctant spy)....The elegant prose will appeal to those who don't usually read spy fiction...Superb.” ―Publishers Weekly (starred) on A Foreign Country
“Brilliant...scene after scene crackles with excitement, tension, and suspense...almost impossible to put aside.” ―Washington Post on The Trinity Six
“Silkily written and more cool than hot...might make le Carré proud.” ―New York Times Book Review on A Foreign Country
“A smashing Cold War thriller for the 21st Century.” ―People on The Trinity Six
“Cumming's masterful novel bears comparison to the works of Alan Furst and John le Carré.” ―Washington Post on The Trinity Six, a Notable Book of 2011
About the Author
CHARLES CUMMING is the author of the first Thomas Kell book, A Foreign Country, as well as the New York Times bestselling thriller The Trinity Six, and others including A Spy by Nature and Typhoon. He lives with his family in London.
Top customer reviews
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Someone is leaking secrets in the Bosporus. There are several targets, and each one is looked at with great rigor. A fellow colleague has been killed in a plane crash, and it is up to Kell to find the reason. Somewhere between, London, Turkey, and Russia, there is a double agent. Along the way, a lot of good sleuthing and spy work. Kell has his choice of the best spies, and he once again meets up with an old antagonist and meets a new one. The environments in each of these countries is explored within the boundaries of work and play, and we are there. We can smell the sea, observe the night clubs and the restaurants. Harrods comes alive in London, the secret offices and houses of MI6, their offices in other countries, the secret phone rooms, the tea, the whiskey, the food, all lead us to an extremely well run organization. We meet the SVR, Russian secret agents, CIA, observe their methods of clandestine work. And, most of all, we get to know Kell, who is almost as secretive as Amelia, the woman he works for.
Such a well written novel, and you cannot guess how 'things' will work out because new problems and people pop up right until the end.
Recommended. prisrob 02-10-17
Spy books have many virtues..the convoluted tradecraft.the careful observation that reveals guilt and the final apprehension of theEtheopian in the fuel supply.
I am less interested in intimate details of the sex life...or the angst that goes with it..of C or Kell or other players..especially if not relevant.
Authors should include this in the plot only if it does not delay the story.perhaps.
Cumming.s description of chasing the bad American around Harrods. finding the DLB and chasing..and catching..the bad guy in Odessa is exciting stuff. Trying to identify motive is less gripping ...perhaps.
And this patchy .mix definitely puts some readers off.
All I can say is that generally I was pulled along by the story..as you should be..and enjoyed the trip.
Mr. Cumming does it for me.
OK, it’s officially an English spy novel now.
Kell is suddenly called back into service. A longtime friend and associate dies under dubious circumstances. The friend, Paul Wallinger, head of MI-6’s Ankara office, was the longtime lover of new MI-6 director Amanda Levene, who has been close to Kell over the years but distant during his months in purgatory.
Now Levene wants him to investigate, because he’s one of the few that knew of the love affair.
And there’s more. (Of course.) Wallinger and Levene were among the very few who knew a mole had been discovered – British or American, it isn’t clear, but highly placed enough to have already caused blown missions and lost lives.
The plot thickens as Wallinger, a noted womanizer, is found to have been involved with another woman, one with ties to East European intelligence. Was he actually the mole? Was he caught in the proverbial honey trap and blackmailed?
Kell shakes off the cobwebs and goes to Turkey, a fine setting for espionage novels since the days of the Orient Express, to investigate. Along the way he meets Wallinger’s grown daughter Rachel – enchanting, delightful, but highly distrustful of spies like her father, who so hurt her mother with his serial infidelities. The investigation into Wallinger’s death intertwines with the mole hunt to create a subtle but steadily moving plot. Kell finds his skills haven't left, but meanwhile his growing feelings for Rachel and his questions about what she, and also Levene, aren't telling him, threatens to cloud his judgment.
The title and story remind us that tensions between the West and Russia haven’t necessarily eased just because the Cold War is over. (In the 19th century, it was the Great Game between Russia and other imperial powers like Britain for dominance in Asia. In the late 20th century, it was the Cold War. We need a new name for today’s struggles.)
I don’t like everything about this book. Cumming, through Kell’s eyes, disparages the U.S. (arrogant cowboys!) and Israel (totally unprincipled spies!) too much for me. To his credit, though, he ultimately finds the traitor to have been motivated by the same animosities, showing where such cultural and political self-hatred can lead.
The ending suggests we haven't heard the last in the Kell series. I'll read the sequel.
Most recent customer reviews
The author even seemed bored with this story.