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Charles Cumming Books In Order

Publication Order of Alec Milius Books


A Spy by Nature (2001) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Spanish Game (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels


The Hidden Man (2003) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Typhoon (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Trinity Six (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Foreign Country (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Colder War (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Charles Cumming is one of the well known authors from England, The United Kingdom, who is particularly famous for writing spy fiction novels. He was born on April 5, 1971 in Ayr, Scotland, to his parents named Caroline Pilkington and Ian Cumming. Author Cumming received his school education from the Ludgrove School and then completed his college studies from the Eton College. Later, he attended the Edinburgh University and obtained his graduation degree with a First Class Honors in the subject of English Literature in 1994. He is described by The Observer as the best among the new generation of the spy authors from Englans who are taking over from where Len Deighton and John le Carre left off. In the year 1995, author Cumming was approached by the Secret Intelligence Serice of The United Kingdom, MI6, for recruitment, but he rejected the proposal as he was interested more in writing spy novels than working as a spy. He has shared his inspirational experience with the MI6 in his novel titled ‘A Spy By Nature’. It was released in the year 2001 in the UK and featured the lead character in the form of Alec Milius. Author Cumming has described Alec as a flawed loner aged in his twenties, who works for the MI5. In the novel, Alec is shown as being instructed by the MI5 to sell some doctored research data related to the CIA related to the exploration of oil in the Caspian Sea. In the year 2001, author Cumming shifted to Madrid for writing the second novel of his career. This book is titled as ‘The Hidden Man’ and describes the tale of two brothers who investigate their father’s murder by the Russian Mafia, who was an SIS officer.

The book also describes the clandestine roles of the CIA And SIS at the time of the Soviet war that took place in Afghanistan. This was followed by the third book by author Cumming titled as ‘The Spanish Game’. The character of Alec Milius makes a comeback in this book in the form of an anti-hero. He is shown getting involved in a dangerous plot called ETA set up by the nationalist Basque organization for bringing down the government in Spain. This book was described as one of the 6 best spy novels by The Times. The next book written by author Cumming is known as ‘Typhoon’ and deals with a plot planned by the CIA for destabilizing China at the time of the Beijing Olympics. A section of the book describes the plight of the Muslim population of Xinjiang. The book was labelled as a wholly sophisticated and compelling spy novel by well known writer William Boyd. It went on to be listed among the top 100 Notable Books of the year 2009. The first book in the Thomas Kell trilogy series was titled as ‘A Foreign Country’. It deals with the disappearance of MI6’s first woman Chief and also introduces the lead character named Thomas Kell in the form of a disgraced officer at the MI6. The book is now being adapted into a television series featuring actor Colin Firth in the role Thomas Kell. Its success helped the novel to win the CWA Steel Dagger Award in the year 2012. Overall, the books written by author Cumming have been translated into as many as 14 foreign languages. His written works are published by Harper Collins in the UK, by St. Martin’s Press in the US, and by Goldmann in Germany. Before beginning his writing career, author Charles Cumming used to work as an assistant editor for The Week between the years 1996 and 2011. He works for a couple of charitable organizations working for the betterment of school children in Ireland and England. Currently, author Cumming lives in London along with his wife and two children.

The novels written by author Charles Cumming in the Thomas Kell trilogy series were published between the years 2012 and 2016. Its debut book was published under the title ‘A Foreign country’ and was released by the St. Martin’s Press in the year 2012. The important characters depicted in this book include Thomas Kell, Elsa Cassani, Jimmy Marquand, Claire Kell, Barbara Knight, as well as a few others. In the opening sequence of the book, it is shown that an elderly couple from France get brutally murdered during their vacation in Egypt. After a few days of the incident, a well planned kidnapping takes place in a crowded area in Paris. The lady who gets abducted turns out to be the first female Chief of the MI6 named Amelia Levene. In spite of all the dedicated efforts to find her, no trace of her could be found. Her kidnapping took place at a time when only 6 weeks were left for her to take over as the Chief of MI6. The problem appeared to be a grave one for the MI6 as nothing like this had happened in the last decade. In order to find her as soon as possible and also to keep her kidnapping a secret, the MI6 turns to the disgraced officer called Thomas Kell. He was removed from service a few months back and is now given the final chance to set things rights and get back to duty. Following the trail, Thomas travels to Tunisia and France and comes to know about a shocking secret. He also becomes aware of a planned conspiracy that can cause unimaginable consequences to England and its allied countries. Thomas Kell appears to be the only person standing in the way of the political and personal catastrophe. In the end, the novel showcased a compelling tale of betrayal, deceit, conspiracy, and redemption.

The second book in the Thomas Kell series was titled as ‘A Cold War’. It was also released by the St. Martin publication in the year 2014. At the start of this book, it is shown that a top ranked military official from Iran gets killed in a bomb blast while when he was defecting to the West. Following this, an investigative journalist gets arrested and jailed for writing a critical article related to the Turkish government. In another incident, a nuclear scientist from Iran gets assassinated in Tehran. All the three incidents had appeared totally unrelated, but they had one thing in common. All the three men were recently recruited by the Western Intelligence, before they were either killed or removed from the job. A senior agent for MI6 named Paul Wallinger is the next one to die, after meeting a plane crash in Turkey. Due to the latest killing, MI6 becomes very much fearful and decides to bring in the disgraced agent Thomas Kell by bypassing the normal protocol. He is asked to investigate the murders and find out who is responsible for all of them. Thomas Kell finds out that there is a mole in the Western intelligence, a fact that Paul Wallinger was already suspicious about before his death. Thomas also finds out that the traitor is sabotaging important information related to the joint operation of intelligence in the Middle East systematically. Now, it becomes extremely crucial for him to find out and catch the traitor in order to get his place back at the secret service.

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