Box 88 (by Charles Cumming)

Box 88 (by Charles Cumming)The Sunday Times featured Box 88 as a free download. So after many positive reviews about the book and author Charles Cumming, I dived in! After the sad demise of John Le Carre, Charles Cumming is recommended as a commendable alternative. That is quite a reputation to aspire to. Does he succeed?

BOX 88 Unravelled

The story is multi-layered and crosses a number of timelines, and countries. Lachlan Kite – our spy hero – has attended a top public school and befriended Xavier Bonnard at school. In the last term, Lachlan is recruited by a teacher to join Box 88. Box 88 appears to be a secret joint spy operation of the UK and US.

Unfortunately, many years later, Xavier commits suicide and Lachlan attends his funeral in London. The funeral is attended by friends, family and family associates plus members of various spy organisations including the mysterious Box 88. Who is being spied on? Who is spying on who? Before that can be resolved Lachlan is kidnapped by what appears to be the Iran secret service.

The BOX 88 story bounces between Lachlan’s capture and interrogation, and an earlier summer holiday in the south of France with Xavier’s parents. A high ranking Iranian, Ali Eskandarian is a guest of father Luc Bonnard. Another guest is the glamorous Martha Raine and Lachlan quickly falls in love with her. Lachlan has been asked by Box 88 to monitor the relationship between Luc and Ali. Box 88 is concerned that Ali or his associates are terrorists with connections with the Lockerbie bombing. Luc is a wealthy businessman. and might be supplying weapons to Iran.

Lachlan’s kidnap appears to be connected with Ali Eskandarian, as the story bounces between the two timelines the intrigue develops. Is Lachlan rescued? Whose side is Ali Eskandarian on?

Is Box 88 as good as Le Carre?

There is plenty of action towards the end of both timelines, and the future of Martha Raine is left open! It is a good read without reaching the heights of John Le Carre. Charles Cumming is certainly an author to follow and is worth checking out.

>> BUY BOX 88 on AMAZON

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To celebrate the publication of his superb new spy thriller, Box 88, Charles Cumming joins fellow author Boris Starling in our Marylebone shop to talk about his writing and how he created Lachlan Kite, a perfect new hero for the perfect post-cold-war spy thriller.

Charles Cumming is a British writer of spy fiction. He was educated at Eton College (1985-1989) and the University of Edinburgh (1990-1994), where he graduated with 1st Class Honours in English Literature. The Observer has described him as “the best of the new generation of British spy writers who are taking over where John le CarrĂ© and Len Deighton left off”.

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