A Colder War

A Colder War

Book - 2014
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Internationally acclaimed as "a premier writer of espionage thrillers" (USA Today), Charles Cumming is "among the most skillful spy novelists" (Washington Post) and "a worthy successor to the masters...like John le Carré and Len Deighton" (Chicago Sun-Times). Now, with A COLDER WAR, Cumming returns with MI6 agent Tom Kell (A Foreign Country), in a tour de force that will dazzle readers and critics alike.

A top-ranking Iranian military official is blown up while trying to defect to the West. An investigative journalist is arrested and imprisoned for writing an article critical of the Turkish government. An Iranian nuclear scientist is assassinated on the streets of Tehran. These three incidents, seemingly unrelated, have one crucial link. Each of the three had been recently recruited by Western intelligence, before being removed or killed.

Then Paul Wallinger, MI6's most senior agent in Turkey, dies in a puzzling plane crash. Fearing the worst, MI6 bypasses the usual protocol and brings disgraced agent Tom Kell in from the cold to investigate. Kell soon discovers what Wallinger had already begun to suspect--that there's a mole somewhere in the Western intelligence, a traitor who has been systematically sabotaging scores of joint intelligence operations in the Middle East.

Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, 2014
Edition: First U.S. edition
ISBN: 9781250020611
Characteristics: 388 pages ; 25 cm
Call Number: CUMMING, C


From the critics

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Feb 18, 2019

Too many sub-plots. Poor judgment used to capture Kleckner. Could have been done easier in Britain, or Turkey, but I guess the book had to be stretched out!

Mar 07, 2017

Cumming gives espionage fans plenty of "tradecraft" and spy vs. spy set pieces framed by a suitably complex plot with suitable exotic locales, ranging from Istanbul to Odessa. The protagonist is the now obligatory exhausted and hard-done-by secret agent in the character of MI6 spook Tom Kell, who is brought in from the cold and tasked with a mole hunt. While no masterpiece, it's a cut above the usual drivel in found in this genre, and is a suspenseful read overall, crisply written, hitting all the right buttons in the right places.

taylorcoach May 01, 2016

Great read. 5 star.

Feb 21, 2016

A mainstream spy novel in the tradition of le Carré, it moves along swiftly in a fairly predictable fashion, with few unexpected turns, so a mystery it is not. Cumming's plot lacks the complexity of situation of Forsyth's works but is easily the equal of Grisham. That lack of invention permits the sheer cold-bloodedness of his characters and their actions to shine through. He puts a good effort into making Kell, his protagonist more attractively human, but all the other characters are wooden archetypes. In the end, the drama seems to fall flat.

sit_walk Jul 17, 2015

Not bad, but not quite as well-paced as you would think and comparisons to Le Carre are simply hyperbole. Fairly predictable, all told.

ChristchurchLib Sep 07, 2014

"In his second appearance, disgraced MI6 agent Thomas Kell is asked to look into the plane crash that killed Paul Wallinger, a colleague who was romantically involved with the head of MI6. Complications arise with the involvement of the dead man's daughter, but the real danger is in finding out whether Wallinger was killed accidentally, murdered, or driven to suicide. Kell's search for answers takes him all over the world and puts him on the trail of a mole responsible for sabotaging several missions. Plenty of spycraft and complex characters make this a great choice for fans of John Le Carré." Thrillers and Suspense September 2014 newsletter http://www.libraryaware.com/996/NewsletterIssues/ViewIssue/9d8e1b90-ba6d-476e-b0fa-85f2990aeabf?postId=e6990131-7b30-4db6-a003-ddc98508c096

Sep 03, 2014

Brilliantly written and fast paced. The title truly takes today's action painted in John Le Carre's language.
This is probably the most entertaining book I have read this year. Cumming's attention to detail makes the action real life!

Aug 22, 2014

Great book. Cumming is by far the best espionage writer today. Compelling plot twists and deep characters. Highly recommend all of his books.

Aug 21, 2014

Great spy novel; it is right up there with the works of John Le Carre. I heartily recommend it.


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