cover image Box 88

Box 88

Charles Cumming. Mysterious, $27.95 (400p) ISBN 978-1-61316-273-6

Lachlan Kite, the hero of this excellent spy thriller from bestseller Cumming (The Moroccan Girl), is a career man at Box 88, a joint British-U.S. black ops outfit so secretive that not even the CIA and MI5 are sure it exists. While attending a funeral outside London for an old prep school friend who died by suicide, Kite lets down his guard and is kidnapped by an Iranian team that wants information on a case he was involved in 30 years earlier. His pregnant wife is also abducted as part of the plot to pressure Kite into revealing his secrets. Flashbacks to 1989 show Kite as a green operative prone to professional insecurity, missteps, and major flubs. In the present, Kite’s decades of experience as a spy provide him with the skills to turn the tables on his kidnappers during his interrogation. Between the two time frames, a thorough portrait of Kite emerges. Well-timed action scenes match focused glimpses into the world of spycraft. This outing cements Cumming’s place in the top rank of espionage writers. Agent: Luke Janklow, Janklow & Nesbit Assoc. (Jan.)