Wednesday, February 20, 2013

THE TRINITY SIX by Charles Cumming

Sam Gaddis is an authority on Russian history and desperately needs a book deal.  His collaboration on a book about a sixth spy in the renowned Cambridge Five ring is cut short when his co-writer is murdered.  As far as he and the family know, she died of natural causes, but as Sam begins investigating the mysterious spy Edward Crane, whose death was faked, his sources are dying for real.  Maybe Brits are more familiar with the Cambridge Five, but I had never heard of them, so that I didn't really have a good frame of reference here.  In this novel, the sixth spy may have been a double agent, but there's an even bigger story, according to one of Sam's sources, and there may be a recording to prove it.  As Sam gets closer to unraveling the whole intrigue, he begins to fear for his own life, as well as that of his young daughter, and he has to evaluate what are the consequences if he continues to pursue the story.  And who is his real enemy—the KGB or perhaps a traitor inside MI6?  Sam Gaddis is sort of any everyman, caught up in a dangerous situation that he is in no way trained for.  He thinks fast on his feet, though, as in the airport security scene, and I had to admire that.  Still, I couldn't really get a handle on what makes him tick.  Sometimes Cold War thrillers can be thrilling and sometimes they can be complicated, like le Carr√© novels.  I found this book to be neither.  I found it pretty easy to follow, except for the background on the Cambridge Five, which wasn't that critical.  As for the thrills, I just didn't find that there were any.

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