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A Divided Spy: A Novel (Thomas Kell, 3) Hardcover – February 14, 2017

4.2 out of 5 stars 1,128 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


“Breathtaking . . . suspenseful . . . Kell brings a note of grace to the treacherous world of the spy novel." Washington Post

"A gripping tale of revenge, betrayal and the personal price that spying exacts."
People magazine

“A smart, nuanced, readable tale, reminiscent of Olen Steinhauer or Robert Littell . . . Cumming has mastered the texture and language of espionage . . . [A Divided Spy is] a fine specimen of a genre headed back toward the Kremlin.”
USA Today

“Agent Kell ishell-bent on revenge ― but his quest ends up endangering Britain’s nationalsecurity. Classic spy fiction at its best.”
New York Post (Must-Reads)

"A magnetic tale of the New Cold War: not since George Smiley trapped Karla have we seen such a delicious recruitment between East and West."
― Jason Matthews, New York Times bestselling author of Palace of Treason

"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."
Booklist (starred)

“Nuanced, suspenseful . . . a perfectly constructed plot proves once again that Cumming is among today’s top spy thriller writers.”
Publishers Weekly (starred)

“Cumming writes with ruefully brittle intelligence and keeps the twists coming.”
Kirkus Reviews

"Charles Cumming is astonishingly masterful at capturing the grey and sometimes amoral world of espionage. A Divided Spy feels authentic and is a riveting read that should be devoured in one sitting."
―Valerie Plame, New York Times bestselling author of Fair Game: My Life as a Spy, My Betrayal by the White House

“A convincing and gripping spy thriller with a clever, twisty plot, believable characters and an abundance of credible spy lore. Highly recommended.”
The Age

“Thomas Kell has become one of the most interesting and well-drawn spies in contemporary literature ― a man who now deserves to be spoken of in the same breath as George Smiley, and who is every bit as discreet. . . . Delicately written, with Cumming’s customary subtle humor, [
A Divided Spy] confirms him as le Carre’s heir.” The Daily Mail

“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.”
The Washington Post

About the Author

CHARLES CUMMING is the author of the Alec Milius books and the Thomas Kell books, A Foreign Country, A Colder War, and A Divided Spy, as well as the New York Times bestselling thriller The Trinity Six and others. He lives in London and writes for the Emmy Award-winning AMC TV miniseries, The Night Manager.
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Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ 1250021049
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ St. Martin's Press (February 14, 2017)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 368 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 9781250021045
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1250021045
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.2 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.54 x 1.25 x 9.45 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.2 out of 5 stars 1,128 ratings

About the author

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Charles Cumming is a British writer of spy fiction. He was educated at Eton College (1985-1989) and the University of Edinburgh (1990-1994), where he graduated with 1st Class Honours in English Literature. The Observer has described him as "the best of the new generation of British spy writers who are taking over where John le Carré and Len Deighton left off".

In 1995, Charles Cumming was approached for recruitment by the United Kingdom's Secret Intelligence Service (MI6). A Spy By Nature, a novel partly based on his experiences with MI6, was published in 2001. The novel's hero, Alec Milius, is a flawed loner in his early 20s who is recruited by MI6 to sell doctored research data on oil exploration in the Caspian Sea to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

In 2001, Charles Cumming moved to Madrid. His second novel, The Hidden Man (2003), tells the story of two brothers investigating the murder of their father, a former SIS officer, at the hands of the Russian mafia. The Hidden Man also examines the clandestine role played by SIS and the CIA during the Soviet war in Afghanistan.

Charles Cumming's third novel, The Spanish Game (2006), marks the return of anti-hero Alec Milius, who becomes involved in a plot by the paramilitary Basque nationalist organization ETA to bring down the Spanish government. The Spanish Game was described by The Times as one of the six finest spy novels of all time, alongside Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, Funeral in Berlin and The Scarlet Pimpernel.

Typhoon, published in 2008, is a political thriller about a CIA plot to destabilise China on the eve of the Beijing Olympics. The story spans the decade from the transfer of the sovereignty of Hong Kong in 1997 to present-day Shanghai. In particular, the author highlights the plight of the Uyghur Muslim population in Xinjiang, a semi-autonomous region of The People's Republic of China. The acclaimed novelist William Boyd described Typhoon as "a wholly compelling and sophisticated spy novel - vivid and disturbing - immaculately researched and full of harrowing contemporary relevance."

In March 2008, Charles Cumming published an interactive online story, The 21 Steps, as part of a Penguin We Tell Stories project. Readers follow the protagonist's travels through Google Maps. Cumming's novels have been translated into six languages. His work is published in the United States by St Martin's Press. In 2009, Cumming left Penguin to join Harper Collins.

Cumming's fifth novel, The Trinity Six, a thriller about the discovery of a sixth member of the Cambridge spies ring, was published in 2011. The Washington Post named The Trinity Six as one of the Notable Books of 2011. A Foreign Country, his sixth novel, concerning the disappearance of the first female Chief of MI6, was published in 2012. It is the first in a trilogy of novels about disgraced MI6 officer Thomas Kell. The novel is now being developed into a television series starring Colin Firth. A Foreign Country was named the first Scottish Crime Book of the Year at the inaugural Bloody Scotland Festival in Stirling in September 2012. It also won the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for the best thriller of 2012.

A sequel, entitled A Colder War, in which Kell investigates a traitor inside western intelligence, was published in 2014. The novel won the CrimeFest eDunnit Award for Best Crime eBook of the Year. The third novel in the Thomas Kell series, A Divided Spy, was published in 2016. The Man Between (published in the US as 'The Moroccan Girl') was published in 2018.

BOX 88 is his tenth novel, the start of a new series featuring Lachlan Kite.

Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5
1,128 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on September 10, 2022
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on March 2, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on February 16, 2017
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Top reviews from other countries

Mr. G. Lawrence
5.0 out of 5 stars If you like intelligent espionage fiction...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on September 16, 2020
5 people found this helpful
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5.0 out of 5 stars Subtle and Intriguing
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on June 16, 2021
3 people found this helpful
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Graham of Watton
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on April 21, 2017
15 people found this helpful
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5.0 out of 5 stars That's not a problem because each is a good read. So start at the beginning and make ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on April 10, 2018
5 people found this helpful
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James Brydon
4.0 out of 5 stars A well crafted addition to the Thomas Kell series.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on August 31, 2016
4 people found this helpful
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