BookBrowse Reviews The Spanish Game by Charles Cumming

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The Spanish Game

A Novel

By Charles Cumming

The Spanish Game
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  • Hardcover: Nov 2008,
    352 pages.
    Paperback: Nov 2009,
    352 pages.

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Readers who appreciate quality spy fiction will want to put this one high on their list

In essence, The Spanish Game is a novel in two parts. The first, longer section serves to set the scene and introduce us to the protagonist, Alec Millius. Cumming's considerable literary talent is most evident here. He describes modern-day Spain in loving, exacting detail that transports the reader in a way only top-notch writing can. He is equally exacting in the creation and description of his characters:

"Mikel Arenaza, politician and friend of terror, is a lively, engaging man – I could tell as much by his manner on the phone – but the full extent of his ebullient self-confidence becomes apparent only upon meeting him. We arrange to have a drink in the old town of San Sebastian, not in an herriko taberna – the type of down-at-heel pub favored by the radical, left-wing nationalist abertzale – but in an...

About the Author
Charles Cumming was born in Ayr, Scotland in 1971. He was educated at Eton and graduated from the University of Edinburgh with First Class Honours in English Literature in 1994. In the summer of 1995, he was approached for recruitment by the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS). The recruitment process described in the first Alec Millius novel, A Spy By Nature, is apparently based closely on his own experience to the point that he has been accused of breaking the spirit of the Officials Secret Act (as explained in an essay on his website).

A year later he moved to Montreal where he began working on a novel based on his experiences with the SIS. A Spy By Nature was bought in a two-book deal by Penguin in 1999. It was published in 2001 in the UK, but not until 2007 in the USA (by St Martins ...

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