BOX 88: Book summary and reviews of BOX 88 by Charles Cumming

BOX 88 by Charles Cumming X
BOX 88 by Charles Cumming
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  • Published Jan 2022
    400 pages
    Genre: Thrillers

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Book Summary

A secret agent comes of age - and reckons with the legacy of his first mission - in this thriller by New York Times-bestseller Charles Cumming, "the best of the new generation of British spy writers" (The Observer).

Lachlan Kite is a member of BOX 88, an elite transatlantic black ops outfit so covert that not even MI6 and the CIA are certain of its existence ― but even the best spy can't anticipate every potential threat in a world where dangerous actors lurk around every corner. At the funeral of his childhood best friend, Lachlan falls into a trap that drops him into the hands of a potentially deadly interrogation, with his pregnant wife, also abducted, being held as collateral for the information he's sworn on his own life to protect.

Thirty years earlier Lachlan, then just out of the upper class boarding school where he was reared, was BOX 88's newest recruit. In the haze of a gap year summer, in which the study of spycraft was intertwined with a journey of self-discovery, he cut his teeth on a special assignment on the coast of France, where a friendship allowed him special access to one of Iran's most dangerous men. Today, Lachlan's nostalgia for the trip is corrupted by recollection of the deceit that accompanied it but, in order to save his family, he'll be forced to revisit those painful memories one last time.

A pulse-pounding narrative that straddles two eras ― 1989 and 2020 ― BOX 88 is a "wonderfully taut, exciting and up-to-date spy thriller" that introduces a compelling new character and a captivating international storyline (Spectator, Books of the Year).

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"The plot—anchored in full-bodied portraits of a small cast of characters confronted with the inescapable way the political and the personal are entangled—is intricate but coherent, taking readers down a chilling road of recent history, vividly depicted. The result is a believable plot undergirded by complex characters and profound questions. The gold standard in espionage fiction." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"[E]xcellent...Well-timed action scenes match focused glimpses into the world of spycraft. This outing cements Cumming's place in the top rank of espionage writers." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"It's no easy trick to write a compelling thriller when your hero is strapped to a chair for most of the book, but Cumming does just that, threading coming-of-age themes into a complex espionage plot (evoking Olen Steinhauer's Tourist series) that suggests there will be much more to discover within the recesses of Box 88." - Booklist (starred review)

"BOX 88 is a wonderful spy novel; Charles Cumming's most ambitious―and his best―yet." - Mick Herron

"BOX 88 is so good. Charles Cumming is up there with the very best espionage writers." - Ian Rankin

"BOX 88 is a masterpiece of plotting and character, Cumming's best novel to date. If you haven't yet had the pleasure of reading him, then do so immediately." - Dan Fesperman

This information about BOX 88 was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Charles Cumming Author Biography

Photo: Toby Madden

Charles Cumming is a British writer of spy fiction. He was educated at Eton College (1985-1989) and the University of Edinburgh (1990-1994), where he graduated 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 Carré and Len Deighton left off."

Author Interview
Link to Charles Cumming's Website

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