Alec Milius is young, smart, and ambitious. He also has a talent for deception. He is working in a dead-end job when a chance encounter leads him to MI6, the elite British Secret Intelligence Service, handing him an opportunity to play center-stage in a dangerous game of espionage. In his new line of work, Alec finds that the difference between the truth and a lie can mean the difference between life and deathand he is having trouble telling them apart.
This is what they told me a long time ago.
Only make contact in the event of an emergency.
Only telephone if you believe that your position has been fatally compromised.
Under no circumstances are you to approach us unless it is absolutely necessary in order to preserve the security of the operation.
This is the number.
Alec Milius is young, smart, and ambitious. He also has a talent for deception. He is working in a dead-end job when a chance encounter leads him to MI6, the elite British Secret Intelligence Service, handing him an opportunity to play center-stage in a dangerous game of espionage.
In his new line of work, Alec finds that the difference between the truth and a lie can mean the difference between life and deathand he is having trouble telling them apart. Isolated and exposed, he must play a role in which the slightest glance or casual remark can seem heavy with unintended menace. Caught between British and American Intelligence, Alec finds himself threatened and alone, unable to confide in even his closest friend. His life as a spy begins to exact a terrible price, both on himself and on those around him.
Richly atmospheric and chillingly plausible, A Spy By Nature announces the arrival of British author Charles Cumming as heir apparent to masters like John le Carré and Len Deighton. A bestseller in England, its the gripping story of a young man driven by ruthless ambition who finds himself chasing not just success, but survival.
An Exploratory Conversation
The door leading into the building is plain and unadorned, save for one
highly polished handle. No sign outside saying foreign and commonwealth office,
no hint of top brass. There is a small ivory bell on the right-hand side, and I
push it. The door, thicker and heavier than it appears, is opened by a
fit-looking man of retirement age, a uniformed policeman on his last assignment.
Good afternoon, sir.
Good afternoon. I have an interview with Mr. Lucas at two oclock.
The name, sir?
This almost condescending. I have to sign my name in a book and then he hands me a security dog tag on a silver chain, which I slip into the hip pocket of my suit trousers.
Just take a seat beyond the stairs. Someone will be down to see you in a moment.
The wide, high-ceilinged hall beyond the reception area exudes all the ...
A well-researched novel with a surprisingly exciting and unexpected ending, which illuminates the decidedly unglamorous world of industrial espionage.
(Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Full Review (573 words).
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), also known as MI6. The
recruitment process described in 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 ...
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Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
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