The best part of inadvertent spy novels is watching the newbies forced to think on their feet, making up tradecraft as they go, and Kit does it very well, indeed. Another winner from the superbly talented Cumming.
While some of Cumming’s readers will be disappointed that this book isn’t part of his popular Thomas Kell series, his latest standalone is nonetheless a solid, twisting thriller. After a bit of a slower opening, Cumming dials it up a notch, kicking off a blazing-fast second half that makes up for the leisurely start. While it’s fair to wonder how much of Kit Carradine is actually Cumming himself, the (real) author does a good job developing him enough that readers will care about the outcome, and the same goes for Miss Bartok, who’s a real scene-stealer throughout ... a wild, twisting, and fun ride from start to finish.
As skilled as Cumming is, he’s left a couple of gaping holes. Let’s start with the book’s title: Bartok is Hungarian, not Moroccan ... Far worse is his hero’s mind-bending naiveté. Readers will see the two big reveals coming long before Carradine does. Nonetheless, even a minor effort from Cumming is engrossing.