Wednesday 16 December 2009

My Dad Reviews...The Spanish Game - Charles Cumming

The usual reminder of my Dad's tastes:

DISLIKES: romance, books that have too much swearing in (I guess that's my Dad not going to read my next book either, then - I thought it was just my Mum I had to keep away from it). Also doesn't like horror, and books with vampires, pterodactyls and the living dead in them. Also, something called an ungoliant. No, I have no idea either - I think my Dad has been at the sherry.

: thrillers, spy novels, war stories and books with elves in (the elves can swear their little heads off as far as he's concerned). Oh, and maps. He bloody loves maps. If you ever meet him, for goodness' sake don't ask him for directions. Not even to the bathroom.

PREFERS: Philip Marlowe to Miss Marple, Inspector Morse to Homicide.

THE SPANISH GAME - Charles Cumming
Publisher: Penguin
Published: January 2007
First Line: "The door leading into the hotel is already open and I walk through it into a low, wide lobby."

Alec Milius - ex MI5 and MI6 - is in voluntary exile in Madrid. He considers he is responsible for the deaths of two CIA operatives and is in fear for his life - of being pursued by that organisation in retaliation. He currently works for a British bank called Endimion and is having an affair with his boss's wife. His greatest fear is that one or both have connections with his former employers or the CIA and are in the plot to kill him.

His boss at Endimion, Julian, asks that he investigates the possibility of repercussions of separation within the Basque community by going to Bilbao and meeting with Mikel Arenza, a basque councillor. Arenza is later murdered so Milius sets out to find the group responsible. He is alone with no back up and soon finds himself facing supposed ETA terrorists.

Later he is approached by a person purporting to be from British Intelligence and is promised reinstatement to the intelligence services if he does a good job by reporting back his findings. There are more twists and turns than in a corkscrew towards the end and there is a devious twist to finalise the story which was entertaining throughout.

The characters were portrayed quite well. The main character came over as a bit of a wimp, his mistress as a temptress, Aranaza was a tough guy, and some of the others were very pushy.

Note from me: Having not read this book I just wanted to check with my Dad that he hadn't given too much of the plot away, as it seemed quite a lot of information. This is what he wrote back:

"The review as written gives the basics of the plot, however there is much more action and to find out what that is, you must read the book. I am not in the business of being a spoiler."

That's me told then...

1 comment:

  1. I think The Spanish Game could be a nice book read. I will add it to my shelf. Thanks for sharing anyway :)

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