A Divided Spy – Charles Cumming
The Last Word Review
Thomas Kell returns in what is the third novel in A Divided Spy by Charles Cumming. For those who enjoy a gripping spy novel and have not encountered the series by Charles Cumming then I must recommend you seek out the series so far. A Divided Spy I found can be read as a standalone novel but you will then want to read the previous two in the series A Foreign Country and A Colder War as then you will really get behind the lead character Thomas Kell.
We join A Divided Spy with Kell now a former MI6 agent, seeking and plotting to avenge the death of Rachel the woman in his life and the woman he loved. Rachel was murdered by a Russian Agent and he wants the chance to find this man and to avenge the killing of Rachel. As with a lot of spy novels the key character has lost faith and trust in those he was working for. Is it a stroke of luck that his chance has come?
Within the story there are two subplots developing with the first Kell is seeking to find and deal with the Russian spy and then a young Muslim man returns to the UK after fighting with ISIS and he is planning a suicide attack in Brighton. Both storylines are carefully woven together as Kell showing no trust goes about his business in seeking out the Russian Minasian and confronting him. Though Kell’s hierarchy are not that happy about Kell seeking revenge.
I have read many espionage novels but I have to say Cumming nails this for the sheer tension as the story starts to reach its explosive climax. Having not read the previous two books I immediately took a liking to Thomas Kell and wanted him to succeed, a likable lead character with all the usual weaknesses you find in our heroes.
If you enjoy reading Ian Fleming or John le Carré then without doubt you will really enjoy reading A Divided Spy with a warning you struggle to put this one down. Cumming writes with authority and the writing grabs you and pulls in and does not let go until the last page.
If you are hitting the beach this Summer, then pack this along with the beach towel and sun lotion it is essential holiday reading.
My thanks to Jaime Frost from Harper Collins for an advanced review copy.
A Divided Spy by Charles Cumming was published by Harper Collins on 2 June and is available through all Waterstones and all good bookshops.