Charles Cumming was born in Scotland in 1971. He was educated at Eton and graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1994 with First 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 Carre and Len Deighton left off". In the summer of 1995, Charles was approached for recruitment by the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6). A year later he moved to Montreal where he began working on a novel based on his experiences with MI6. A Spy By Nature was published in the UK in 2001. This is his fifth novel.
The Cambridge Five (Maclean, Burgess, Blunt, Philby, and Cairncross)-who were recruited in their university days as Soviet spies, then became members of the British government-have long been a source of inspiration for international thrillers. In Cumming's superb rendition, the hapless Russian scholar Sam Gaddis, in need of money, inspiration, and a future, discovers that a sixth Cambridge spy, Edward Crane, assumed dead like the others, is still alive and looking for someone to write his story. It makes for a superb spy novel, which makes it all the more unfortunate that John Lee isn't quite up to the material. Though unmistakably and appropriately British, he is also brusque, choppy, and sometimes pointlessly harsh and angry sounding. The audio package also includes a short intriguing interview with the author. A St. Martin's hardcover. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Praise for The Trinity Six: 'An utterly absorbing and compelling novel. A brilliant re-imagining of events surrounding the notorious Cambridge spy-ring' William Boyd, bestselling author of Restless 'Sheer excitement' Daily Telegraph 'Often talked of as a potential heir to John le Carre, Cumming confirms here that he's a reliably classy storyteller ... an assured and richly enjoyable thriller' Sunday Times 'Delicate and supremely controlled, this is a spy story to be savoured, not rushed' Daily Mail 'None of the new generation of spy writers lives up to the standard set by Deighton, Forsyth and Le Carre. Enter Cumming, a long-awaited light at the end of a very long tunnel ... This is today's spooks at their most ruthless, with Sam, a heroic if naive amateur sleuth, taking international hitmen and beautiful female agents in his stride to get to the truth. As good as Le Carre - praise indeed' Guardian Praise for Charles Cumming: 'From the first page to the last it has the ring of absolute authenticity. Tautly written, cleverly plotted...it reminded me strongly of the early books of John le Carre' Robert Harris 'The master of the modern spy thriller' Mail On Sunday 'If Cumming keeps up this standard he deserves to become an institution in his own right' The Times
The premise of Cumming's (A Spy By Nature; Typhoon) fifth thriller is that the "Cambridge Five"-Maclean, Burgess, Blunt, Philby, and Caincross, who spied for the Soviets during World War II-included a sixth man yet to be identified. Cumming expertly orchestrates his score, beginning slowly with English professor and Russian history scholar Sam Gaddis facing unpaid bills and needing a publication advance. Sam gets a book idea from a friend who has been researching the alleged sixth man. When the friend dies unexpectedly, Cumming's composition soon picks up tempo with the involvement of a beautiful MI6 agent, evidence of betrayals at all levels of government, and more deaths bearing messy signs of Russian secret service involvement. Lauded as "an upcoming [Len] Deighton," Cumming may be favorably compared with Charles McCarry and John Le Carré. His plotting and his language are powerfully engaging, VERDICT Spy fiction fans will enjoy the ingenious plot with well-developed characters, a keen sense of time and place, an undercurrent of fear, and plenty of gore. [100,000-copy first printing; see Prepub Alert, LJ 10/15/10.]-Jonathan Pearce, California State Univ. at Stanislaus, Stockton. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.