Typhoon: Book summary and reviews of Typhoon by Charles Cumming

Typhoon

A Novel

by Charles Cumming

Typhoon
  • Critics' Opinion:

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  • Published in USA  Oct 2009
    416 pages
    Genre: Thrillers

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Book Summary

It's 1997, and the British are about to return Hong Kong to Chinese rule, Joe Lennox, a young operative for SIS (MI6), loses both his girlfriend and his first high profile asset - a prominent defector who disappears from a safe house. The girlfriend he lost to Miles Coolidge, a hard-bitten CIA agent; the asset to collusion between his bosses and the CIA. Over ten years later, during the run-up to the Beijing Olympics, Lennox is back in China, facing his old nemeses. With the CIA plotting to use an Islamic group to destabilize China, the SIS seeking to thwart them and his old asset the key to all of this, Joe Lennox, Miles Coolidge, and the girlfriend they shared are all hopelessly intertwined in a plot where trust is impossible and truth is unknowable.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. The conflict between Joe and Miles, both personal and professional, fuels this complex and satisfying novel." - Publishers Weekly

"Typhoon is fine entertainment, and with recent ethnic clashes between the Uighurs and Han Chinese in the headlines, it’s also topical." - Booklist

"One can only hope that Cumming and his tales are with us for an extended stay. Highly recommended." - Library Journal

"Cumming's knack for writing about expat life in contemporary China in a way that feels very real. A stately thriller for grown-ups." - Kirkus Reviews.

"The story is narrated by a third party bit-player, ostensibly a journalist on the SIS payroll, with the full benefit of hindsight, which gives it a further le Carré-esque touch: that all-knowing, mildly wistful feeling of an inquest.... The comparison is a heavy one for a young author, but Typhoon, with its deep plotting, flawed characters, climactic conclusion and undercurrent of mistrust is another step in the footprints of the master." - The Times (UK)

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Author Information

Charles Cumming Author Biography

Photo: Toby Madden

Charles Cumming was born in Scotland in 1971. He was educated at Ludgrove School (1979-1984), Eton College (1985-1989) and the University of Edinburgh (1990-1994), where he graduated with 1st Class Honours in English Literature. In 1995, Charles was approached for recruitment by the United Kingdom's Secret Intelligence Service (MI6). A Spy By Nature, a novel partly based on his experiences with MI6, was published in the UK in June 2001. The novel's hero, Alec Milius, is a flawed loner in his early 20s who is recruited by MI5 to sell doctored research data on oil exploration in the Caspian Sea to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

In August 2001, Charles moved to Madrid. His second novel, The Hidden Man (2003), tells the story of two brothers investigating the murder of their father, ...

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