A Spy by Nature: A Novel (Alec Milius)

A Spy by Nature: A Novel (Alec Milius)

Charles Cumming

Language: English

Pages: 368

ISBN: 0312366361

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

"Tautly written, cleverly plotted...it reminded me strongly of the early books of John le Carré" -- Robert Harris, author of The Ghost and Fatherland

"Charles Cumming is a man put on earth to perpetuate the spy thriller." --The Daily Telegraph

"...supremely intelligent and utterly readable...Smartly paced and intricately plotted, Cumming's decidedly unglamorous look at industrial espionage provides plenty of elaborate deceits, double crosses and other trappings of a first-class spy thriller." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Alec Milius, a recent graduate of the London School of Economics, is young, smart, and a bit of a slacker, stuck in a shady job and suffering from a lack of direction. So, when an old family friend offers to put him up for a job in British Intelligence, Alec begins the rigorous selection process for SIS or MI6. Though he doesn't officially make the cut, he is funneled into a prime position at a British oil company with interests in the Caspian Sea. He is directed to befriend Fortner Grice and Katharine Simms, two charismatic employees of Andromeda, a rival American oil firm. Lured into the murky world of industrial espionage, Millius finds himself trapped in a life of secrets and lies, manipulated by MI6 and the CIA, and confronted by the reality of a ruthless business environment in which priceless information can come at the cost of human life. Compellingly told, utterly authentic, and heart-racingly tense, A Spy By Nature will grip you until the very last page.

















Where is Michael, by the way?’ Lithiby moves forward and back within the narrow confines of his chair. He looks to have been suddenly constricted by my question. ‘I don’t know if they did,’ he says, referring back to Cohen. ‘I’d have to check the report.’ ‘He suspects that I may be handing secrets to Andromeda.’ ‘Why would he think that?’ Lithiby asks, a rising note of surprise in his measured voice. ‘He came to my house last night, close to one o’clock. I was back from Cheyne Walk after

and girls in bright pink, too young to be wearing make-up. At the counter, an acne-soaked teenager in a purple hat takes our order for food. I pass Saul a five-pound note, but he wants to pick up the tab. ‘I’ll get it,’ he says, pushing my hand away. Twenty minutes later and we are back inside the car, my mood flatly resigned to a long, dark journey with no end until well after midnight. Saul has a polystyrene cup of Coke wedged between his thighs and a post-burger cigarette hanging from his

coughs. ‘In just over ten minutes you’ll begin the group exercise,’ he says, leaning to pick up a small pile of papers from the right-hand top corner of his desk. ‘This involves a thirty-minute discussion between the five of you on a specific problem which is described in some detail on this document.’ He flaps one of the sheets of paper beside his ear and then begins distributing them, one to each of us. ‘You have ten minutes to read the document. Try to absorb as much of it as possible. The

one another and I am looking into the eyes of a kindly grandmother. Stevenson’s face has such grace and warmth that there is nothing I can do but trust it. She calls me Alec - the first time that one of the examiners has referred to me by my first name - and speaks with such refinement that I am immediately lulled into a false sense of security. The lights are dim, the blinds drawn; there is a sensation of absolute privacy. We are in a place where confidences may be shared. Everything starts out

up the road, Fortner turns to me. ‘Well, young man,’ he says, slapping me on the back. ‘It’s been a pleasure as always. Stay in touch. I’m gonna go home, wake up Kathy, take a fistful of aspirin and try to get some sleep. You gonna be OK gettin’ back to your apartment? You wanna come up for a beer, a coffee or somethin’?’ ‘No. I’d better be off. Got work tomorrow.’ ‘Sure. OK, I’ll see ya. Gimme a call in the next few days.’ ‘Will do.’ And he ambles up the street, a lost, faintly dishevelled

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