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Summary

A vivid and gripping novel from the master of the modern spy thriller which sees Alec Milius coaxed back into the secret world to face the uncontainable danger of 21st-century terrorism.

For six years, Alec Milius has escaped the past. In Madrid, he has rebuilt his life but remains in exile and in danger.

Slightly older, and much wiser, than the young spy who first impressed MI6, he has kept his fatal attraction to secrets. So when a prominent politician mysteriously disappears, Alec is lured back into the spying game.

Only this time he operates without the protection of any official agency, isolated and expendable, with nobody to turn to if things go wrong. And they soon do.

But when Alec is confronted with the nightmare of modern terrorism, he is given one last chance for redemption.

©2018 Charles Cumming (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic reviews

"A cracking good spy thriller the serpentine twists and the unflaggingly realistic suspense leave you breathless, but spellbound." (Daily Mail)

"The Man who most successfully gets under the skin of Britain's intelligence agencies." (The Times)

"From the first page to the last it has the ring of absolute authenticity. Tautly written, cleverly plotted it reminded me strongly of the early books of John le Carr." (Robert Harris, author of Fatherland and The Ghost)

What listeners say about The Spanish Game

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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Not the best of Cummings

Very disappointed in the story. Milius is such an unsympathetic protagonist anyway, so paired with an unlikely and uninteresting story-line, it was really not a good listen.

1 person found this helpful

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Enjoyed the last half

For me this took a long time to get going, also the narrator's voice just a bit dull. Enjoyed the last half

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Not a likeable hero!

Alec is annoying. He’s a liar and a cheat. Quite a weasel really. However, the story is a good one and the narrator excellent and a fluent Spanish speaker.

The story is complex, with many peripheral characters, some with unfamiliar Basque names, so no falling asleep and missing the plot developments!

I have several Charles Cummings books in my online library but won’t be listening to this one again. Alec just isn’t my kind of “hero”.

1 person found this helpful

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I really wanted to like this ...

After the recent death of John Le Carré, I read that Charles Cummings was his "primary heir".

So, I expected much from his novels. The first Alec Milius book left me frustrated by the author's focus on his motivation at the expense of story. I hoped that, having established his character, this would be better; it wasn't.

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Too complicated

I like Charles Cumming’s work enormously. Whilst this is a stand alone book reading the previous one in the series would have been very helpful. The plot towards the end just got too complicated for my dog walking concentration. The narration was really excellent. It hasn’t put me off one of the very best spy writers of today.

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Credible, tense, intelligent spy thriller

I have listened to a few of Cumming's books and was attracted to this after the first Alec Milius adventure. In that first book, he is a believable, flawed, perhaps not very likeable character, drawn into a very credible story. This is better. He is still flawed, still credible, but the story has more pace and edge. There are a couple of instances where I was left wincing; thinking: "Really??" at the plot devices, but not too much, and the overall sense at the end is of a satisfyingly realistic narrative, told with verve and skill, with a lovely pay-off.

Listen to the first book before this; it will mean much more if you do, but do listen to this one.

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Excellent, lived up to the hype

Definitely a compulsive page turner, make sure you have time to read it right through, before you start, you have been warned !

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Awesome!

Loved every page of it, it had me gripped from the first page to the last. Cumming is a master of the espionage genre, right up there with LeCarre and Deighton!