The Spanish Game

The Spanish Game

4.0 16
by Charles Cumming
     
 

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Six years ago, after working for the British Secret Intelligence Service, Alec Milius got out of the spy game after being drummed out by MI6. His retirement came at unbearably great personal cost. But just because he's walked away from the life, it doesn't mean that that life has walked away from him.

Now living in exile in Madrid, quietly and as far under the

Overview

Six years ago, after working for the British Secret Intelligence Service, Alec Milius got out of the spy game after being drummed out by MI6. His retirement came at unbearably great personal cost. But just because he's walked away from the life, it doesn't mean that that life has walked away from him.

Now living in exile in Madrid, quietly and as far under the radar as possible, Milius keeps a constant eye out for the enemies he made, hoping to avoid any future involvement. Yet when a prominent Basque politician goes missing under suspicious circumstances, Milius soon finds himself embroiled in another international conspiracy.

Introduced in A Spy by Nature, Alec Milius returns in The Spanish Game, a compelling, modern espionage novel from Charles Cumming, widely acclaimed as a modern master of the form.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Drawing upon his experiences working with the British Secret Service, Cumming returns with another spy thriller that is as thrilling as and more fully realized than previous works. Protagonist Alex Milius has learned a lot since his release from MI6 six years ago and is unable to stay away from the high-stakes game of international intrigue. The talented Simon Vance delivers a scintillating reading; his simple, underplayed English dialect captures the very essence of Milius. There are no frills or manufactured emotions; Vance is so good that he need only relate the prose with honesty and passion and listening becomes a compelling and memorable experience. A St. Martin's hardcover (Reviews, Sept. 22). (Feb.)

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Library Journal

The Basque nationalists at the heart of this thriller have passionate justifications for their cause, but the new labels of international terrorism in 2003 alter the power balance and enemies lurk everywhere. Drummed out of the MI6 corps six years earlier for a botched operation, young Alec Milius is now doing due diligence work in Madrid when odd and intriguing situations pile up, and suddenly he is at the heart of a plot that inflames his spying appetites and ambitions. Even after Alec is tortured and punished for his curiosity, he continues to pick at the clues hoping to salvage some private satisfactions for a job well done. Notable for its heightened psychological cat-and-mouse play, this second Milius title (after A Spy by Nature ) will build Cumming's reputation as a literary spymaster to reckon with-comparison with early John le CarrA© is not out of line. An added bonus is the masterly description of Madrid and Basque country complete with wine and dine notes. A well-crafted and necessary purchase for espionage fiction collections in all public libraries.-Barbara Conaty, Falls Church, VA

From the Publisher
"Vance is so good that he need only relate the prose with honesty and passion and listening becomes a compelling and memorable experience." —Publishers Weekly Starred Audio Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312366407
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
10/13/2009
Series:
Alec Milius Series, #2
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
711,743
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Charles Cumming is the internationally acclaimed author of A Spy By Nature and the forthcoming Typhoon. He is a contributing editor of The Week magazine and lives in London.

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The Spanish Game 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
KenCady More than 1 year ago
The Spanish Game does a good job of demonstrating the intrigue and betrayal inherent in the spy game. Just when you think you have a handle on what is going on, Charles Cumming throws another wrench in the works to add to your confusion. Alex Milius (A Spy by Nature) has returned to the spy game, but instead it seems a great game is being played on him. Finding how it all works is the fun of the game for the reader.
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harstan More than 1 year ago
Following the disastrous events that went totally wrong (see A SPY BY NATURE), M-16 blames espionage agent Alec Milius for the fiasco although he was a rookie and his side failed to communicate with their American counterparts; he also blames himself. Fired by his agency and no longer seeking adventure, Alex relocates to Madrid where he works for a British owned bank. Filled with guilt and doubts, Alex hopes staying low key will keep him safe as he would not be shocked to find his former employers, the CIA sending assassins or a rogue colleague holding him responsible by taking him out.

In Spain, Alec is having an affair with the wife of his boss Julian Church while using alcohol to numb his crippling remorse. Julian assigns Alec with a special project that has him traveling into the Basque sector of Spain. There he meets Mikel Arenaza, a former Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA) Basque separatist party member. Soon after their encounter someone kills Mikel. Alec is caught in the middle between ETA hardliners, Spanish cops, and apparently his former British associates and their cross Atlantic partners.

This is a superb espionage thriller as Alec, filled with remorse and uncertainty about his skills, expects his former colleagues or their peers to take him out. He lives looking over his shoulder with a hesitant step. The story line is fabulous with timely solid twists, but Alec makes the tale; as a disgraced spy in exile waiting for the cold to come to him. THE SPANISH GAME will be on most short lists as one of top three espionage thrillers of the year.

Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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