May 242013
 

foreignAn Mi-6 spook, Thomas Kell, on involuntary leave for perhaps roughing up an Afghan captive in Kabul is called back into service when the incoming Division head of Mi-6 goes missing.  Kell has all the latest hi-tech tools of his trade at his disposal, but in this suitably suspenseful caper, he mostly relies on his wits and experience to track down his old boss and the bad guys who are after her.  He travels to Tunisia, returns to Marseille by ferry across the Mediterranean, and gets caught up with double agents, rogue agents, and territorial battles between spy agencies that bring us very much up-to-date now that the Cold War is over.  Suddenly it is the Arab Spring that has the attention of intelligence agencies from all the Western countries.  The action clips along while spies with crumbling or just plain boring personal lives and strong professional ambitions remain reasonably credible throughout.  It is difficult to recount much of the plot without inserting spoilers, but as these types of books go, A Foreign Country is a winning diversion.

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