A Colder War by Charles Cumming

‘A Colder War’ is Charles Cumming’s second novel featuring the disgraced MI6 agent Thomas Kell. In this novel, the head of MI6 Amelia Levene brings Kell in to investigate the death of the Turkish head of station – Paul Wallinger.

Recently two high ranking Iranians who were working with the West were killed and a Turkish investigative journalist jailed. It has become clear to some in MI6 that there is a mole among the British and US agents based in Turkey. Levene wants to find out if Wallinger’s death was an accident, if Wallinger had worked out who the mole was, or if Wallinger was in fact the mole. Amelia Levene and Paul Wallinger have a shared history which Levene would prefer to keep secret and she trusts her friend Thomas Kell to do this.

It doesn’t take Kell long to determine the identity of the mole and from that point on Kell and Levene are concerned with determining the reasons for the treachery and if anyone else is involved without alerting anyone (east or west) to their discoveries. The aim is to catch the traitor and bring him to justice rather than scare him away.

Through the story Kell develops a romantic relationship and things look serious. But, Levene’s ambitions threaten to bring an early end to this relationship.

 

This was an excellent book showing post-cold-war spying as not so very different from what went on during the cold war. And why would it be any different? The same motivations still exist today (even if current ideological considerations are portrayed as naiveté in this book).

Cumming’s excellence in bringing the characters and locations to life made this book incredibly realistic and absorbing. The book also didn’t require the same level of mental gymnastics that some of Le Carre’s books require. I’m keen to read more from Charles Cumming and I hope we see more of the character Thomas Kell.

Next Novel in series – ‘A Divided Spy‘.

 

Book Published 2014

 

See a full list of books by Charles Cumming

Leave a Comment

Filed under Book Reviews, Cumming, Charles, Series Fiction, Spy, Thriller

Comments are closed.