The Spanish Game (Alec Milius 2) - Reviews

The Times

"The factual background is detailed and accurate, the first-person narration edgy and direct, the plot a suitably messy, just plausible reflection of the muddled reality of a dirty game in a dirty world. If Cumming keeps up this standard he deserves to become an institution in his own right."

The News & Observer

"A satisfying tapas plate of intrigue, betrayal and sultry romance that would be a good fit for the movie screen."

The Observer

"Charles Cumming is probably the best of the new generation of British spy writers who are taking over where Le Carré and Deighton left off."

What's On

"A gripping yarn"

The Washington Post

"Cumming punches all the right buttons in this whiz-bang thriller. Suspense junkies will relish the unexpected plot twists, the devious double-crossings and Milius's bungled attempts to "follow that car!" The politics and history lessons are a bonus."

The Sunday Telegraph

"The Spanish Game shows why Charles Cumming has won so much praise for his contemporary spy stories…Cumming has woven an intricate web from a combination of fact - Spanish history and politics, terrorism and the links between them - and a fictional story about a secret dirty war involving America's allies at a crucial stage of their war in Iraq. It's impressive and convincing, with a stunning twist at the end."

The Daily Mail

"A cracking good spy thriller. Cumming knows his stuff and writes as well as le Carré… The serpentine twists and the unflaggingly realistic suspense leave you breathless, but spellbound."

Chicago Sun-Times

"Continuing in the rich tradition of UK espionage novelists, Cumming brings a 21st century spy to life in vibrant fashion... He writes in a nice, clean style, with well rounded characters, evocative settings and fascinating plots. In short, he's got the whole package."

Publisher's Weekly – Starred Review

“The plot is pleasingly convoluted, the twists unexpected, the characters flawed and interesting. This is spy fiction of the highest order; Cumming deserves to be ranked with the best of the genre’s practitioners.”

The Daily Telegraph

"A convincing character study of an imperfect spy, wrapped up in… an engrossing plot."

The Rocky Mountain News

"Many former spies turn out thrillers that are as dry as dust, but Cumming's books are a nice exception. Engaging to the end, this should introduce more readers to an excellent new writer."

The Mail on Sunday

"It's a pleasingly tricky plot, but the skilful portrait of a man adrift, unable to believe in anything or anyone, is what remains with the reader."

The Daily Record

"If there was a degree in thriller writing, Charles Cumming would teach the class."

Kirkus Reviews

"Intricate and intelligent"

Ireland on Sunday

"A tense, brilliant thriller…Cumming proves a more than worthy successor to the genre's godfather, John le Carré…He ratchets up the tension with bluff, counter-bluff and lashings of menace, stirring it up into a thrilling, twist-laden climax. His matter-of-fact prose is stylish and peppered with unerringly realistic and up-to-date references and flashes of wit. Lots of fascinating detail on ETA helps to give this thriller a meaty political thrust that few other writers around can match."

The Mirror

"Cumming not only knows the game, he can write too."

The Irish Times

"The Spanish Game is of a high standard."

The Big Issue

"A gritty page-turner of a thriller…an exciting read."

The Broadsheet, Madrid

"A remarkable novel"

The Literary Review

"A well-written tale"

Mystery Scene

"A marvelously complex book, narrated by a nervous paranoid who conveys his fears with engaging directness. The Spanish Game is the best sort of thriller, convoluted, densely packed, and with a deliciously unexpected ending."

Library Journal

“Notable for its heightened psychological cat-and-mouse play, this second Milius title (after A Spy by Nature) will build Cumming’s reputation as a literary spymaster to reckon with—comparison with early John le Carré is not out of line. An added bonus is the masterly description of Madrid and the Basque country.”

The Booklist

“Milius is a sharply drawn protagonist, at once shrewd and easily manipulated by those who understand his proclivities. Madrid and the Basque city of San Sebastian are knowingly limned, the complex plot effectively uses real events from the history of the Basque-Spanish conflict, and Cumming keeps the truth roiling until the final pages. Fine spy fiction.”

"A compelling, modern espionage novel from a writer widely acclaimed as a modern master of the exceptionally well-written addition to the genre. Readers who appreciate high-quality spy fiction will want to put this one high on their list."

Cleveland Plains Dealer

"I don't like the character Alec Milius, but I keep reading Charles Cumming's books anyway."