Non-British readers are probably less familiar with the main subject of Charles Cumming's spy thriller than those in his home country. Cumming, a notable author of five spy novels to date, grounds his narrative in the legacy of the Cambridge Five, a 1950s spy ring. Cumming's story fuses the traditional conventions of the spy novel with a twenty-first century setting, coupling a quick read with an interesting part of British and Russian history.
The result proves that the spy novel, a genre that some might think to be stuck in the Cold War era, is far from dead.
The Trinity Six
revolves around the main character of Sam Gaddis, a seasoned academic, recently divorced, who spends his time drinking with various London journalists and scholars (drinking seems to be a favorite pastime for all of the novel's characters, though only one is admittedly an...
Beyond the Book
The Cambridge Five consisted of Kim Philby, Donald Maclean, Guy Burgess, Anthony Blunt, and John Cairncross, all Cambridge graduates, who made their careers in various British government agencies including the Secret Intelligence Service.
They were recruited to work for Stalin's NKVD (the precursor to the KGB) while students at Cambridge in the 1930s by Arnold Deutsch, a Russian talent spotter. Many British students at that time saw the rise...