A Spy by Nature: A Novel

Front Cover
Macmillan, Nov 11, 2008 - Fiction - 368 pages
7 Reviews

"Tautly written, cleverly plotted...it reminded me strongly of the early books of John le Carré" -- Robert Harris, author of The Ghost and Fatherland

"Charles Cumming is a man put on earth to perpetuate the spy thriller." --The Daily Telegraph

"...supremely intelligent and utterly readable...Smartly paced and intricately plotted, Cumming's decidedly unglamorous look at industrial espionage provides plenty of elaborate deceits, double crosses and other trappings of a first-class spy thriller." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)


Alec Milius, a recent graduate of the London School of Economics, is young, smart, and a bit of a slacker, stuck in a shady job and suffering from a lack of direction. So, when an old family friend offers to put him up for a job in British Intelligence, Alec begins the rigorous selection process for SIS or MI6. Though he doesn't officially make the cut, he is funneled into a prime position at a British oil company with interests in the Caspian Sea. He is directed to befriend Fortner Grice and Katharine Simms, two charismatic employees of Andromeda, a rival American oil firm. Lured into the murky world of industrial espionage, Millius finds himself trapped in a life of secrets and lies, manipulated by MI6 and the CIA, and confronted by the reality of a ruthless business environment in which priceless information can come at the cost of human life. Compellingly told, utterly authentic, and heart-racingly tense, A Spy By Nature will grip you until the very last page.

 

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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

Selected pages

Contents

AN EXPLORATORY CONVERSATION
3
OFFICIAL SECRETS
12
TUESDAY 4 JULY
20
POSITIVE VETTING
35
DAY ONEMORNING
39
DAY ONEAFTERNOON
62
DAY TWO
73
PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS
82
CREATING JUSTIFY
193
BEING RICK
201
PLAUSIBLE DENIABILITY
213
23 THE CASE
221
FINAL ANALYSIS
235
1997
245
THE LURE
247
THE APPROACH
251

THIS IS YOUR LIFE
87
MEANING
95
1996
101
CASPIAN
103
MY FELLOW AMERICANS
117
THE SEARCHERS
125
THE CALL
127
TIRAMISU
131
HAWKES
141
THE SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP
144
SHARP PRACTICE
164
SEIZE THE DAY
183
THE STING
258
28 COHEN
268
TRUTH TELLING
275
LIMBO
289
BAKU
292
END OF THE AFFAIR
296
CACCIA
314
THINK
319
FAST RELEASE
327
WEST
342
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Charles Cumming is a journalist and contributing editor to The Week magazine. Approached in 1995 for recruitment by the SIS, Cumming has weaved his personal experiences with SIS (MI6) into his fiction. He lives in London with his family.

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