The Trinity Six: A Novel

The Trinity Six: A Novel

by Charles Cumming

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781429919425
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 03/15/2011
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 101,903
File size: 815 KB

About the Author

CHARLES CUMMING is the author of the international bestselling thrillers A Spy By Nature, The Spanish Game, and Typhoon. A former British Secret Service recruit, he is a contributing editor of The Week magazine and currently lives in London.


CHARLES CUMMING is the author of the Alec Milius books and the Thomas Kell books, A Foreign Country, A Colder War, and A Divided Spy, as well as the New York Times bestselling thriller The Trinity Six and others. He lives in London and writes for the Emmy Award-winning AMC TV miniseries, The Night Manager.

Read an Excerpt


THE TRINITY SIX (Chapter 1)

“The dead man was not a dead man. He was alive but he was not alive. That was the situation.”

Calvin Somers, the nurse, stopped at the edge of the towpath and looked behind him, back along the canal. He was a slight man, as stubborn and petulant as a child. Gaddis came to a halt beside him.

“Keep talking,” he said.

“It was the winter of 1992, an ordinary Monday night in February.” Somers took an apple from his coat pocket and bit into it, chewing over the memories. “The patient’s name was Edward Crane. It said he was seventy-six on his notes, but none of us knew what was true and what wasn’t. He looked midsixties to me.” They started walking again, black boots pressing through the mud. “They’d obviously worked out it was best if they admitted him at night, when there were fewer people around, when the day staff had gone off shift.”

“Who’s ‘they’?” Gaddis asked.

“The spooks.” A mallard lifted off the canal, quick wings shedding water as he turned towards the sun. “Crane was brought in on a stretcher, unconscious, just after ten on the evening of the third. I was ready for him. I’m always ready. He bypassed A and E and was put straight into a private room off the ward. The chart said he had no next of kin and wasn’t to be resuscitated in the event of cardiac arrest. Nothing unusual about that. Far as anyone was concerned, this was just another old man suffering from late-stage pancreatic cancer. Hours to live, liver failure, toxic. At least, that was the story MI6 was paying us to pedal.”

Somers threw the half-eaten apple at a plastic bottle floating on the canal and missed by three feet.

“Soon as I got Crane into the room, I hooked him up to some drips. Dextrose saline. A bag of amikacin that was just fluid going nowhere. Even gave him a catheter. Everything had to look kosher just in case a member of staff stuck their head round the door who wasn’t supposed to.”

“Did that happen? Did anybody see Crane?”

Somers scratched the side of his neck. “Nah. At about two in the morning, Meisner called for a priest. That was all part of the plan. Father Brook. He didn’t suspect a thing. Just came in, administered the last rites, went home. Soon after that, Henderson showed up and did his little speech.”

“What little speech?”

Somers came to a halt. He didn’t make eye contact very often but did so now, assuming a patrician tone which Gaddis took to be an attempt at impersonating Henderson’s cut-glass accent.

“‘From this point onwards, Edward Crane is effectively dead. I would like to thank you all for your work thus far, but a great deal remains to be done.’”

A man pushing a rusty bicycle came towards them on the towpath, ticking past in the dusk.

“We were all there,” said Somers. “Waldemar, Meisner, Forman. Meisner was so nervous he looked as if he was going to throw up. Waldemar didn’t speak much English and still didn’t really understand what he’d got himself involved in. He was probably just thinking about the money. That’s what I was doing. Twenty grand in 1992 was a lot of cash to a twenty-eight-year-old nurse. You any idea what we got paid under the Tories?”

Gaddis didn’t respond. He didn’t want to have a conversation about underfunded nurses. He wanted to hear the end of the story.

“Anyway, at some point Henderson took a checklist out of his coat pocket and ran through it. First, he turned to Meisner and asked him if he’d filled out the death certificate. Meisner said he had and produced a ballpoint pen from behind his ear, as if that proved it. I was told to go back down to Crane’s room and wrap the body. ‘No need to clean him,’ Henderson said. For some reason, Waldemar—we called him Wally—thought this was funny and we all just stood there watching him laugh. Then Henderson tells him to pull himself together and gives him instructions to have a trolley waiting, to take the old man down to the ambulance. I remember Henderson didn’t talk to Forman until the rest of us had gone. Don’t ask me what he’d agreed with her. Probably to tag a random corpse in the mortuary, some tramp from Praed Street with no ID, no history. How else could they have got away with it? They needed a second body.”

“This is useful,” Gaddis told him, because he felt that he needed to say something. “This is really useful.”

“Well, you get what you pay for, don’t you, Professor?” Somers produced a smug grin. “What was hard is that we had other patients to attend to. It was a normal Monday night. It wasn’t as if everything could just grind to a halt because MI6 were in the building. Meisner was the senior doctor, too, so he was always moving back and forth around the hospital. At one point I don’t think I saw him for about an hour and a half. Wally had jobs all over the place, me as well. Added to that, I had to try to keep the other nurses out of Crane’s room. Just in case they got nosey.” The path narrowed beside a barge and the two men were obliged to walk in single file. “In the end, everything went like clockwork. Meisner got the certificate done, Crane was wrapped up with a small hole in the fabric he could breathe through, Wally took him down to the ambulance, and the old man was gone by six A.M., out into his new life.”

“His new life,” Gaddis muttered. He looked up at the darkening sky and wondered, not for the first time, if he would ever set eyes on Edward Anthony Crane. “And that’s it?”

“Almost.” Somers wiped his nose in the failing light. “Eight days later I was going through The Times. Found an obituary for an ‘Edward Crane.’ Wasn’t very long. Tucked down the right-hand side of the page under ‘Lives Remembered,’ next to some French politician who’d fucked up during Suez. Crane was described as a ‘resourceful career diplomat.’ Born in 1916, educated at Marlborough College, then Trinity, Cambridge. Postings to Moscow, Buenos Aires, Berlin. Never married, no offspring. Died at St. Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, after ‘a long battle with cancer.’”

A light drizzle was beginning to fall. Gaddis passed a set of lock gates and moved in the direction of a pub. Somers pushed a hand through his hair.

“So that’s what happened, Professor,” he said. “Edward Crane was a dead man, but he was not a dead man. Edward Crane was alive but he was not alive. That was the situation.”

*   *   *

The pub was packed.

Gaddis went to the bar and ordered two pints of Stella Artois, a packet of peanuts, and a double of Famous Grouse. Thanks to Somers, he was down to the loose change in his pockets and had to pay the barman with a debit card. Inside his jacket he found the torn scrap of paper on which he kept his passwords and PIN numbers and punched in the digits while the landlord made a noise through his teeth. With Somers still in the Gents’, Gaddis sank the whisky as a single shot, then found a table at the back of the pub where he could watch groups of shivering smokers huddled outside and try to convince himself that he had made the right decision to quit.

“Got you a Stella,” he said when Somers came up to the table. For an instant it looked as though he wasn’t going to sit down, but Gaddis pushed the pint towards him and said: “Peanuts.”

It was just past six o’clock. West Hyde on a Tuesday night. Suits, secretaries, suburbia. A jukebox was crooning Andy Williams. Tacked up beside a dartboard in the far corner of the room was an orange poster emblazoned with the words: CURRY NIGHT—WEDNESDAY. Gaddis took off his corduroy jacket and looped it over the arm of a neighbouring chair.

“So what happened next?”

He knew that this was the part Somers liked, playing the pivotal role, playing Deep Throat. The nurse—the senior nurse, as he would doubtless have insisted—produced another of his smug grins and took a thirsty pull on the pint. Something about the warmth of the pub had restored his characteristic complacency; it was as if Somers had reprimanded himself for being too open beside the canal. After all, he was in possession of information that Gaddis wanted. The professor had paid three grand for it. It was gold dust to him.

“What happened next?”

“That’s right, Calvin. Next.”

Somers leaned back in his chair. “Not much.” He seemed to regret this answer and rephrased it, searching for more impact. “I watched the ambulance turn past the post office, had a quick smoke, and went back inside. Took the lift up to Crane’s room, cleared it out, threw away the bags and catheter, and sent the medical notes down to Patient Records. You could probably check them if you want. Far as the hospital was concerned, a seventy-six-year-old cancer patient had come in suffering from liver failure and died during the night. The sort of thing that happened all the time. It was a new day, a new shift. Time to move on.”

“And Crane?”

“What about him?”

“You never heard another word?”

Somers looked as if he had been asked an idiotic question. That was the trouble with intellectuals. So fucking stupid.

“Why would I hear another word?” He took a long draw on the pint and did something with his eyes which made Gaddis want to deck him. “Presumably he was given a new identity. Presumably he enjoyed another ten years of happy life and died peacefully in his bed. Who knows?”

Two smokers, one coming in, one going out, pushed past their table. Gaddis was obliged to move a leg out of the way.

“And you never breathed a word about it? Nobody asked you any questions? Nobody apart from Charlotte has brought up this subject for over ten years?”

“You could say that, yeah.”

Gaddis sensed a lie here, but knew there was no point pursuing it. Somers was the type who shut down once you caught him in a contradiction. He said: “And did Crane talk? What kind of man was he? What did he look like?”

Somers laughed. “You don’t do this very often, do you, Professor?”

It was true. Sam Gaddis didn’t often meet male nurses in pubs on the outskirts of London and try to extract information about seventy-six-year-old diplomats whose deaths had been faked by men who paid out twenty grand in return for a lifetime of silence. He was divorced and forty-three. He was a senior lecturer in Russian History at University College London. His normal beat was Pushkin, Stalin, Gorbachev. Nevertheless, that remark took him to the edge of his patience and he said: “And how often do you do it, Calvin?” just so that Somers knew where he stood.

The reply did the trick. A little frown of panic appeared in the gap between Somers’s eyes which he tried, without success, to force away. The nurse sought refuge in some peanuts and got salt on his fingers as he wrestled with the packet.

“Look,” he said, “Crane didn’t speak at all. Before he was admitted, they’d given him a mild anaesthetic which had rendered him unconscious. He had grey hair, shaved to look like he’d undergone chemotherapy, but his skin was too healthy for a man supposedly in his condition. He probably weighed about seventy kilos, between five foot ten and six foot. I never saw his eyes, on account of the fact they were always closed. That good enough for you?”

Gaddis didn’t answer immediately. He didn’t need to. He let the silence speak for him. “And Henderson?”

“What about him?”

“What kind of man was he? What did he look like? All you’ve told me so far is that he wore a long black overcoat and sounded like somebody doing a bad impression of David Niven.”

Somers turned his head and stared at the far corner of the room.

“Charlotte never told you?”

“Told me what?”

Somers blinked rapidly and said: “Pass me that newspaper.”

There was a damp, discarded copy of The Times lying in a trickle of beer on the next-door table. A black girl listening to a pink iPod smiled her assent when Gaddis asked if he could take it. He straightened it out and handed the newspaper across the table.

“You’ve heard of the Leighton Inquiry?” Somers asked.

Leighton was a judicial inquiry into an aspect of government policy relating to the war in Afghanistan. Gaddis had heard of it. He had read the op-eds, caught the reports on Channel Four News.

“Go on,” he said.

Somers turned to page five. “You see this man?”

He flattened out the newspaper, spinning it through a hundred and eighty degrees. The nurse’s narrow, nail-bitten finger skewered a photograph of a man ducking into a government Rover on a busy London street. The man was in late middle age and surrounded by a crush of reporters. Gaddis read the caption.

Sir John Brennan leaves Whitehall after giving evidence to the inquiry.

There was a smaller, formal Foreign Office portrait of Brennan set inside the main photograph. Gaddis looked up. Somers saw that he had made the connection.

“Henderson is John Brennan? Are you sure?”

“As sure as I’m sitting here looking at you.” Somers drained his pint. “The man who paid me twenty grand sixteen years ago to cover everything up wasn’t just any old spook. The man who called himself Douglas Henderson in 1992 is now the head of MI6.”

THE TRINITY SIX Copyright © 2011 by Charles Cumming


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The Trinity Six 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 86 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What began as an exciting book lost it's steam in the middle. Too many tiny details and minor characters to feel like you really knew what was going on without taking notes. Not as good as Alan Furst or others of the same genre in my opinion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought this was an inbearably amateurishly written mystery novel, in its overly stylistic language and unsuccessful and boring attempts to build suspense, its plot meanderings with impossible coincidences and its happy-happy Hollywood ending. It took a very good story and turned it into a verbose screenplay for a B- TV movie.
KenCady More than 1 year ago
Author Charles Cumming has followed up his previous novel with an intriguing tale of skullduggery involving the Russians and the British. The book is some 350 pages, which means that I didn't think too much of the last 50 or so pages. It seems as if the author had dug himself such a hole in making the book interesting, that there was no way to reasonably conclude the novel with that level of interest. In other words- I didn't like the ending! But the 4 stars are for the first 300 pages, so enjoy those and then see if you disagree about the rest.
SharronA on LibraryThing 6 months ago
A fast-paced, tension-filled "modern" spy novel covering mid-20th century through early 21st. Better than most of the best I've read...as good as John LeCarre's work (my highest praise for this genre). The characters were distinctive, clearly drawn, and interesting with just enough small details to make them memorable, and likeable (or detestable, as appropriate). The plot was complex enough to seem real and to maintain my keen interest, but not overly or unnecessarily convoluted. Many times I thought I knew something the characters hadn't figured out yet... and I was wrong, wrong again, doubly wrong, and so were they! I fell gleefully for the misdirection and enjoyed the ride. The author was particularly good at creating a lead character who was a bit of a bumbler, who took foolish risks, and who was habitually fearing and imagining the worst. At the most tense moments it was still possible to both identify with him, and laugh at his antics; his slight goofiness somehow balanced, but never interfered with, the stark tension and danger of the situations. I will definitely recommend this book to friends and will seek out more of his novels to read.
alyson on LibraryThing 6 months ago
Slow to get going for me, but then I enjoyed it.
Laura400 on LibraryThing 6 months ago
This is a fun, readable suspense novel. It is well-written and fast-paced. Not particularly memorable, indeed, but enjoyable. A good example of the genre.
Unkletom on LibraryThing 6 months ago
I love spy thrillers. I love reading late into the night to find out if the double agent is really a good guy or if he can get over the Berlin Wall without getting shot. I love how the fate of the world rests on them revealing this or that secret (or McGuffin, to borrow a term from Alfred Hitchcock). So why does Charles Cummings' Trinity Six leave me out in the cold? For starters, it advertises itself as a thriller based on the question of whether or not there was a sixth member of the actual Cambridge spy ring that consisted of several 1930s Cambridge classmates who were recruited by the Soviets and then, over the course of the next few decades, worked their way into trusted positions within the government and leaked an enormous amount of sensitive information. This would be an interesting question if the book were set back when these men were young enough and powerful enough to do some damage but it's not. It is set in modern times, where the Soviet Union no longer exists and Russia is run by former president and KGB officer Vladimir Putin, (sorry, Sergei Platov). I spent much of the book wondering how this plotline could segue into something that could possibly be a threat to anyone still living. True, people around protagonist Sam Gaddis are dying at an alarming rate, but why? What possible reason could there be for it? Perhaps the author felt the same way because about halfway through the book the story takes a 90-degree turn and Gaddis spends the rest of the book running for his life and chasing the McGuffin. The change takes place so dramatically that I almost felt that I'd been the victim of the old bait-and-switch game. Much of what I have just said is a description of the frustration I felt while reading the book. In the end Cummings does answer my questions but I'll leave it up to you to decide if the McGuffin was worth the chase. John Lee is an excellent choice as narrator for the audio version of Trinity Six. His classic upper-class English accent is as at home in a British spy thriller as an Austin Martin or a vodka martini (shaken, not stirred).
BeckyJG on LibraryThing 6 months ago
The Cambridge Five, as you probably know, was a ring of spies all recruited by the Soviets after having become communists during their years at university in the thirties. Four of the five--Kim Philby, Donald Duart Maclean, Guy Burgess, and Anthony Blunt--have been definitively known since the fifties and early sixties. The presence of a fifth member of the group was long suspected, and many consider John Cairncross to be the likeliest candidate.Charles Cumming, in his spy thriller The Trinity Six takes the premise a step further by positing a sixth spy, one who was never caught (or defected), and who may still be alive. His novel slants the action differently than most spy novels by making the protagonist not a spy or an intelligence officer, but rather a professor of Russian studies. Sam Gaddis is the fortyish academic, divorced, behind in his mortgage and tax payments and being pressed by his ex-wife for additional child support. When asked by a journalist friend to co-write a book based on interviews she's currently conducting about the possible sixth man, Gaddis jumps at the chance. Days later his friend is dead. As he pursues the leads she had begun to uncover, Gaddis discovers most people unwilling to discuss the subject with him...and those who do seem to end up dead as well. Cummings has written a tidy (though perhaps a bit coincidence-ridden) thriller which flies along at a satsifyingly brisk clip. Sam Gaddis is mopey and self-centered, but smart and capable as well. The Trinity Six, while not one for the ages, is still a worthy contribution to the spy thriller genre, and well worth a read.
peleluna on LibraryThing 6 months ago
The book had potential, but the clunky prose made it difficult to engage in the premise of the story. The characters were pretty cliche (particularly the females) and the reader could get quickly surmise the direction the different "twists" were taking. Hopefully, Cumming's future works will be progressively get polished, but I'll stick to Tom Rob Smith for quality suspense and prose!
cmparkhurst on LibraryThing 6 months ago
I enjoyed this book. The characters were developed to my liking and the storyline was interesting and kept me reading. A good spy/mystery book that is well written.
KaskaskiaVic on LibraryThing 6 months ago
Nicely done. This novel would make a good movie. For those who follow world news the book is enjoyable because the author alludes to actual events, though the names of the real victims have been changed. For example, the reader will recognize the references to the unexplained murder of journalist Anna Politkovskaya and the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko. The author also transports the reader to various British, European and Russian locales that add to the authenticity of this spy thriller. Of particular appreciation are the references to Russian culture, such as Bulgakov's classic, The Master and Margarita.
maureen61 on LibraryThing 6 months ago
A novel of mystery regarding espionage in England and Russia during the 1930s with repercussions in the present day. Well crafted with twists and turns in the plot. Somewhat drawn out in parts but I would recommend it!
tibsboys on LibraryThing 6 months ago
Trinity Six is a novel that takes its inspiration from an actual spy scandal that took place in Great Britain between the World War II years on into the late 1950s and possibly beyond. A group of Cambridge University students, enchanted with communism, were recruited to pass along secrets and recruit others for Russia. It was always suspected that there was always one member of the group that was never discovered. Trinity Six's protagonist, Sam Daddis, is a London-based academic that through the death of a journalist friend becomes involved in carrying on the journalist's investigation into the missing spy and his identity. The story moves from London, to Berlin and Vienna. This retro spy story has a hefty dose of trying to figure out who is the good guy/girl and who is not. The story even references the classic spy novel, The Third Man. This book was made available through the Library Thing Early Reviewers.
DeaconBernie on LibraryThing 6 months ago
Nothing special. Is an attempt to elaborate on the British spy scandal of Burgess & McClean. The principle character is schizophrenic in that he vacillates between utter calm and fright instantly. The author attempts to introduce indignation for carrying on the story but rings hollow.
mdtocci on LibraryThing 6 months ago
This book is a thriller based on the infamous Cambridge Five spy ring in Cold War England. The main theme of the book is that there was a 6th unknown spy,who may have reached the highest levels of British intelligence. A down on his luck professor of Russian history, Sam Gaddis, happens to fall into some information that the 6th spy may be still alive. The book follows Gaddis as he travels across Europe trying to uncover the truth, with the help of an MI5 agent.I thought the plot was a little unbelievable at times, as I think often happens with these spy thrillers, but overall it did keep my interest.
JC50 on LibraryThing 6 months ago
I would buy this book. (Of course, no need as I received a copy as an early reviewer.) I will, however, attempt to acquire all of the other books by Charles Cumming.I am not a writer - I have trouble putting my thoughts and ideas on paper. I am also not a professional book reviewer (whose reviews are so esoteric [?] that I can neither follow what the book is about or if the reviewer liked it.) All I can say is if I liked the book, did not like it, or have no opinion on it. I liked this book. The only way I can explain why is to say that I was always interested in finding out what was on the next page. A lot of books have duller or less interesting parts. I do not know if they are in there for some minor point or if they are there just to make the book longer. This book did not have these less interesting sections. Everything was about the main point so, for me, the book had a good flow and was not any longer then it had to be. The book is a very light read. At first, it seemed to fit a typical mold: Someone is trying to find out something, others are trying to prevent that person from finding out, people with information are getting killed. But there were some twists to keep this book interesting.
ranson_larry on LibraryThing 6 months ago
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I thought the author did a great job of developing the main character, Sam Gaddis. Once I started getting into the book, I had a hard time putting it down.
shsb on LibraryThing 6 months ago
This book follows an in debt academic Sam Gaddis who is struggling financially to keep himself afloat and to pay his spousal support and for his daughter¿s education. He is contacted by Charlotte Berg, journalist and friend, about her research into rumors of a sixth person in the famous Cambridge five spy ring. She asks him to be a co-author and with his financial troubles mounting, he jumps at the opportunity. Little does he know that there is a group of people that wants to keep this knowledge a secret. The story follows Sam¿s journey though numerous European cities interviewing the key players involved with knowledge of the sixth member. As Sam does not know that his life is in danger until he hears that everyone we has talked to ends up dead starting with Charlotte¿s death. The book has a fantastic ending and many twists and turns to keep the reader looking forward to the next page.
JaneWJ on LibraryThing 6 months ago
I enjoyed The Trinity Six, and appreciated the historical context of the novel. The twists and turns were interesting, but the characters were a little two dimensional. Sam Gaddis is a likable but predictable hero. I think a deeper dive into the history without the slightly over dramatic present day events would have made for a stronger novel. All in all, though, a fun read.
JohnFallows on LibraryThing 6 months ago
I thought this book was great. It does shift and twist a bit from what I thought would be a book mainly about a sixth member of the Cambridge Five and his exploits. But the twist is interesting and entertaining. It leaves one to wonder if perhaps the current Russian leaders may have similar skeletons in their collective closets.
melaniehope on LibraryThing 6 months ago
A brilliant re-imagining of events surrounding the notorious Cambridge spy-ring. Known as the Cambridge Five, these men betrayed their country to the Soviet Union during and after WWII. Fifteen years later, 76-year-old Edward Crane is pronounced dead at a London hospital in 1992. An academic and historian, Sam Gaddis learns that Crane was the rumored sixth man in the Cambring¿and that he's alive and ready to tell his story. Gaddis, a well-regarded scholar of modern Russia who needs money to support his ex-wife and their daughter, thinks he can turn this staggering information into a bestselling book. However, as the story unfolds, people who know the truth, start dying. Sam Gaddis realizes he is in over his head and is in a plot far bigger than he imagined. I think this is a great novel of espionage. As long as you remember that Sam is an academic and not a spy, then you will really enjoy this book. I was riveted to the book and devoured it within a few days. Although there is not a lot of action, I liked the story so much because it seemed believable. Sam is a very normal character who stumbles upon a mystery.
unluckycharms13 on LibraryThing 6 months ago
"Trinity Six' is a novel of intrigue and government cover-ups. Sam Gaddis is a British professor of Russian history facing money and family troubles. When a close friend and colleague unexpectedly dies after offering Gaddis a solution for his problems, Gaddis picks up where her research left off, revealing a mystery about a British government cover-up of double agents during the Cold War. The characters of this novel carry the story, and leaves the reader wondering which one they are really rooting for. There is enough intrigue and surprise to keep the story interesting, although the plot is a bit far-fetched.
realfish on LibraryThing 6 months ago
Being an academic myself, I relished in the thought of reading a spy novel starring a professor of russian history. Cummings book (his fifth, my first) is a blend of cold war history and pure spy novel. I enjoyed Cumming's writing and thought the book was, in general, well paced. The central theme of the book revolves around the discovery of a sixth member of the Cambridge Five spy ring. Our protagonist, Sam Gaddis, discovers early on who the sixth member is but in the process people begin dying around him. It appears there is a deeper secret here that the Russians and the British are trying to keep hidden. Sam stumbles from scene to scene slowly putting all of the pieces of the puzzle together. Overall, I wish the author had developed the characters more. The characters were for the most part, realistic but seemed to lack depth and at times just plain common sense. At least the characters did not try to say something "witty" every other sentence like many authors do in this genre. There are a few discontinuities in the story, for example, in one scene Sam is on the phone and says he has only about 8 euros and in the next scene he is handing a cabbie 40 euros for a taxi ride. The ending seemed almost anti-climatic but did seem to wrap-up at least most of the loose ends.I enjoyed this book though I will admit I hoped for more of an Alan Furst read. I will certainly sample some of his other books. If you like a good paced spy novel with lots of killings and a fairly intricately woven plot, I encourage you to give this book a read.
kraaivrouw on LibraryThing 6 months ago
I think my expectations were too high for this book. It sounded great from the blurb and I was excited when I got it via LibraryThing Early Reviewers so I read it right away, finished it, and thought, "meh."I've never really been into espionage thrillers. When I was growing up it was mostly James Bond and I've always thought he was kind of a wanker. He's a misogynist psychopath paid to kill with a bunch of silly gadgets and fancy cars and the requisite bimbo. Even though Sean Connery is the best Bond ever, I still don't really like the character. Most other espionage thrillers are in a similar vein or they've got heroes like Jason Bourne who isn't really a hero, but rather a superhero. This is also a series where the movies are better than the books (which I can't get through).So why was I excited about this book?Well, it was compared to John le Carre's George Smiley books and it's about the possibly sixth member of the Trinity Five - a particularly fascinating group of men. I thought there'd be a bit more history in it since its main character is a professor of Russian history. Not so much.Don't get me wrong - this book is well-written and probably an entertaining thriller if you like the victim of espionage side of things which I don't really. It's not a bad book - just not the book for me.
mapthis on LibraryThing 6 months ago
I enjoyed this book right up until the end. I don't have a problem with how everything resolved, only with the writing of it. The book built nicely and was well-paced, and then suddenly it was just wrapped up. It felt very rushed.