A Spy by Nature: A Novel

Front Cover
St. Martin's Press, Jul 10, 2007 - Fiction - 368 pages
8 Reviews

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 death—and 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, it's the gripping story of a young man driven by ruthless ambition who finds himself chasing not just success, but survival.

Look out for Charles Cumming's next novel, The Trinity Six, in March. William Boyd calls The Trinity Six "Utterly absorbing and compelling. A brilliant re-imagining of events surrounding the notorious Cambridge spy-ring."

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
0
4 stars
3
3 stars
3
2 stars
1
1 star
1

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - kenzen - LibraryThing

Very detailed, slow moving book. Only towards the end did it catch me by surprise and reeled me in. The writing style certainly is a matter of taste. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Speesh - LibraryThing

I think I'm gonna have to swim against the tide here. Or at least against the tide of (what are quite possibly reviews for the hardback version) reviews on the cover and inside of my paperback. Far ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (2007)

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.

Bibliographic information