By Charles Cumming
St. Martin’s Press, $24.99, 357 pages
The abrupt disappearance of a young nanny in 1978, a brutal murder of an elderly couple in Cairo, a kidnapping in Paris, a mistaken identity, and a breakneck chase across the English Channel all tie together in this fast-paced espionage novel. When Amelia Levane, the first female chief of MI6, the British Secret Intelligence Service, vanishes from her hotel room only a few weeks before taking her post, a former agent is sent to look for her. What Thomas Kell finds when he finally tracks her down is a secret that could destroy her career. Against the backdrop of the 2010 Arab Spring uprisings and unrest, a band of disreputable British, French and North African characters keep up the action and suspense, while an unexpected plot twist will keep readers engaged until the last page. Those who enjoy a well-written spy thriller won’t be disappointed by A Foreign Country.
Reviewed by Linda Frederiksen