Reader’s Notebook, 8/31/17

A Divided Spy – Charles Cumming.
I hate it when I realize, a decent stretch into a book that is part of a series, that I missed the previous entry in the set. I had read book one of Cumming’s Thomas Kell series and then picked this one up. Problem is this is book three. And as the books all build upon each other, that caused some problems when reading this one. As in a couple very important people died in book two that I really needed to know more about for book three. Oh well…

But a good book should be able to stand on its own, and A Divided Spy does exactly that. In this book – the series finale perhaps, given how it ends – Thomas Kell has retired from MI6 after his last mission, which resulted in the death of his girlfriend. But he gets pulled back into active service when given a chance to track the Russian agent he believes responsible for her death. The Russian agent has some deep, dark secrets that another British agent stumbled upon and may give Kell an opportunity to exact revenge.

However, the operation isn’t as straight-forward as Kell had hoped. The Russian agent is an expert at manipulation, and Kell can never be sure if he can accept the information the Russian is offering as true or an invitation to a dead end. Worse, when Kell shares intelligence on an impending terrorist attack with his superiors, they dismiss it knowing that the Russian is suspect.

Things spin up to the final 60 pages or so, which are terrific. I dig books that race up to the final pages.