The Spanish Game (Alec Milius) by Charles Cumming

By Charles Cumming

The easiest of the hot new release of British secret agent writers taking on the place le Carre and Deighton left off. -- Observer (London) at the Spanish Game "The serpentine twists and the unflaggingly reasonable suspense depart you breathless, yet spellbound." -- day-by-day Mail (London) at the Spanish Game "Tautly written, cleverly plotted...reminded me strongly of the early books of John le Carre." -- Robert Harris, writer of The Ghost, on A undercover agent through Nature Six years in the past, Alec Milius used to be published by means of MI6 after a disasterous operation.  His global shattered, Milius has been residing in Madrid, trying to positioned his former lifestyles as a undercover agent at the back of him,  and quitely rebuild his life.  yet all his plans come crashing down while the top of a separatist circulation is going lacking, and Milius is lured again into the area of espionage, the brutal international of lies and desperation. This time, even though, Milius is pressured to paintings by myself - without back-up, no aid, and nobody to save lots of him may still anything get it wrong.  And in an operation like this, anything is sure to move wrong.  Horribly mistaken.

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God bless Mikel Arenaza’s brother. ’ He shakes his head and puts a hand on the lower part of my neck, giving it a little squeeze. ’ ‘Well, I thought I’d outgrown it, Mikel, I really did. I haven’t had an episode like that for years. ’ He doesn’t laugh. ‘No, this is not funny. I know because of Julio. ’ Opening a widebrimmed umbrella, Arenaza shields me from the rain and assumes an almost avuncular air. ‘You want to rest? ’ He has applied a fresh layer of aftershave in the car park and I wish that we were not standing so close together.

It is a Basque style. Looking around, I can see half a dozen young men with similar cuts, and another three or four with what can only be described as mullets. The idea – according to a journalist I had lunch with in Villabona on Wednesday – is to present a stark contrast to the primped rugs of Madrid’s young conservative elite, who tend to favour neat side partings or waves of sculpted gel. Arenaza leans over and kisses the barmaid on both cheeks, though again he is greeted coolly. ‘Let’s drink something,’ he says, ordering two large whiskeys – Irish, of course – with plenty of ice in mine.

She wants to know how much she can get away with saying. ’ ‘Sí. Mucho. ’ He gives up. ’ And what follows is a pitch-perfect, five-minute exchange about nothing at all: Sofía conducting a conversation about the Prado, about tourists at the Thyssen museum, the week she spent recently in Gloucestershire with Julian’s ageing parents. Just enough chat to cover the span of time before her husband returns from the bar. When he does, all of his attention is focused on me. ’ He clutches me round the shoulder.

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