The Trinity Six
- HarperCollins Publishers
- Publication Date:
- 03 February 2011
- Espionage & Spy Thriller
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Cumming has written four previous spy novels, all well received, but the first somewhat less enthusiastically than the books which followed. Two of the novels share the same protagonist but the other books are stand-alones. The title refers to the long held rumor that theres was a 6th, unidentified spy with links to the notorious Cambridge group that included Philby, Maclean, Burgess etc. In this book which I have rated 5 stars, University College London professor Sam Gaddis has recently published another book on Russian history, another well received poor seller which nets him his usual pittance. He finds himself in financial straits largely due to a very expensive divorce, and now must find a big story. One night Charlotte, an old friend and former lover, drunkenly shares an overview of research she has been doing on the sixth man, and invites Sam to partner with her. Suddenly bodies start dropping left and right. Gaddis manages to survive despite his spy clumbsiness, and begins to get closer to the truth of the 6th man, much to the chagrin of Russian and British intelligence services. The story very subtley takes an unexpected turn and the focus shifts from the sixth man to a betrayal initiated by a mid-level Russian spy back in the 80's. Somehow, Gaddis manages twice to survive becoming collateral damage despite his close proximity to the victims (like within feet, and seconds) and both times is rescued by agent Tanya. As you read my comments here you might be thinking "not my cup of tea, I prefer something more subtle, more George Smiley, don't care for action novels". Well, "The Trinity Six" is that and more. Extremely well written, well plotted, interesting characters, high tension, subtle. I was especially taken by one scene where the tension was built particularly slowly, an everyday scene, yet particularly tense for our hero and the situation he was in. This is a scene at an airport that is not to be missed for the incredible level of tension that Cumming builds. I have read many spy novels and my favorite all-time books are "Tinker Tailor", "The Spy Who Came In From the Cold", Deighton's trilogy squared, and Littell's "The Company". I feel nobody has written anything close to those books, including the authors of those books. And now I add "The Trinity Six" to that group, and yes, I will read all his other books.
I gave this to my husband to read and he did in one day. He really enjoyed it, good writing, great story, and engrossing.
This my first exposure to the details of the Cambridge Five spies. Cumming makes learning the history of this group interesting. This is a entertaining work of fiction. "The Trinity Six" is a great tale of deception, greed, and betrayal.
I always feel like such a literary insider when I snag an earlier reviewer book. I was not disappointed with this spy thriller.Before reading, I had only a cursory knowledge of the Cambridge Spy Ring (which I learned at the Spy Museum in Washington D.C. a few summers ago). I happen to love books set in England, so this was a perfect match for me. I also enjoy historical fiction. My only problem with this novel is that I'm not sure how close to the truth it was purporting to be. Was it using the bones of the real Cambridge men and the rest was brilliant fiction? Or, have there always been rumors of a sixth man? This could be something the publisher could explain on the dust jacket, or my next book will just have to be a non-fiction read about the true history of the Cambridge Five!There were a couple of twists that I was able to figure out early. Not sure if that means I'm getting smarter as I age, or if the twists could have been cloaked more.I'm not a huge romance fan, but I would have loved just a little bit of romance between Dr. Gaddis and the woman who was NOT his girlfriend. There was obvious chemistry between them.This spy novel had good, old-fashioned espionage, code names, exfiltration, and most fun - a regular person thrown into the world of espionage. I could live vicariously through Dr. Gaddis and have no fear of getting injured or dead!Thank you Mr. Cummins for a delightful read about the sometimes dangerous, and always adventurous world of spies.
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