Charles Cumming

The Trinity Six

" exceptional thriller with more layers than the proverbial onion!"


In 1992, Edward Crane is declared dead at a London hospital. Fifteen years later information comes to light that maybe Crane’s obituary was a little previous and that Crane is still alive, if elderly. After a sticky separation from his unfaithful wife and needing school fees for his daughter, Sam Gaddis desperately needs money. During a dinner with a journalist friend, Sam hears about her research about Crane and the offer of co-writing a book together. The next day Gaddis hears news of his friend’s sudden and unexpected death. As Gaddis takes over her investigation, he soon discovers that maybe her death wasn’t natural causes after all and that a lot of people will go to any lengths to keep Crane and his legacy a secret.

At the same time, Sam comes into the possession of boxes from a woman whose mother gathered together information about conspiracies from years back. Looking through them he can’t find anything of any importance – but is he looking for the wrong lead? As Sam is pulled into a world of espionage and lies, he uncovers a man who is determined to tell a story that has its roots in Cambridge – a tale that involves five famous spies, namely Blunt, Burgess, Philby, Maclean and Cairncross. Now he has to prove that there was indeed a ‘sixth man’. But some would rather the truth was not known to the public. Soon, Sam is fighting for his very survival and not sure who is friend or foe.

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From the opening pages of ‘The Trinity Six’ I was captivated. The supposed death of a mystery man opens the book and soon you are treading though a quagmire of lies and half truths. The most marvellous aspect of this book is the way Cumming embeds his novel in fact. From the famous case of the ‘Cambridge Five’ to the ending of the Cold War, the author shows with confidence that he knows what he is talking about. Cumming has plenty of experience about what he writes having himself been approached by the Secret Intelligence Service. You get the feel that he has got information from the horse’s mouth. Cumming is also extremely good at keeping the tension mounting so that the pages appear to turn themselves. So intense is the plot that you keep promising yourself that it will be the last chapter until you find yourself at two o, clock in the morning, still reading. I have to admit I am not a great one for the ‘spy thriller’. However, with all the shenanigans with phone tapping lately filling the broadsheets, I felt I would give this a try. And I was very pleased I did. I will certainly be going back to Cumming’s back list and trying his other novels. I have been ‘converted’ and I am sure that once you have read ‘The Trinity Six’ you will be too! This is an exceptional thriller with more layers than the proverbial onion!

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