Cover Image: The Man Between

The Man Between

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Member Reviews

Well-crafted spy thriller about an author of spy novels who finds himself being drafted to assist the British secret service on a research trip to Morocco. But what sounded like a simple favor turns into a complex task that requires all the ingenuity and cunning of a seasoned spy - but is the spy author up to the task?
Charles Cumming knows how to develop an exciting story with a realistic plot seasoned with numerous believable twists and turn, and I really enjoyed this one about an ordinary guy who finds himself in an extraordinary situation. Four big stars!
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Looks like this book has received quite mixed reviews. People either loved it, or they get too caught up on the fantastical nature of the plot. I fall closer to the former group of people and chose to enjoy the wonderful world of opportunity and espionage, betrayal and subterfuge.

At the end of the day this book was an enjoyable read and as my first Charles Cumming novel, I am definitely pleased.
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Kit Carradine has been a successful novelist for years. Based on his father's adventures as a spy, Kit's novels are spy stories. But living the spy life through the stories is no longer enough for him. So, when an agent contacts him and offers him the real deal, Kit will jump at the chance to become a real-life spy himself. But is he maybe out of his league in this situation? As the story unfolds, Kit will have to improvise, and face more dangers than he thought he'd have to.

The Man Between is a well-written spy story. Its unique point is that the main hero is not actually a spy, but rather a first-timer, and that makes the reading all the more interesting. However, I found the basis of the plot a little too unrealistic, which led to me not connecting very well with the plot as a whole. Secret service reaching to a person that has never been a spy before is strange by itself, but when mixed with how easy it was to convince a civilian to risk their lives without being trained at all in espionage, it becomes utterly unrealistic. 

However, it was still a pleasant and fast read, and certainly entertaining. The plot was easy and the pace very good.
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Spy thriller which was very convoluted and took a long time to get going. Mixed bag of characters and lukewarm story.
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A Standalone Spy Thriller - A Gripping Spy Thriller:
Charles Cumming brings the grey world of espionage to life in this gripping standalone spy thriller. A thoroughly enjoyable read with action and adventure galore as Kit Carradine, a successful author,  who writes spy thrillers, becomes inexorably dropped in the real world of espionage. He finds it far removed from the contents of his much acclaimed novels. At its core the novel concerns the battle against an international terrorist organisation. Featuring a hectic chase from North Africa to Europe in a world where no-one seems to be exactly who they claim to be, this novel builds from a rather slow and implausible start to a book you can't put down. I enjoyed the style (if not the politics) of the novel which takes the form of an official report for the Secret Service Files broken into sections followed by "real life" action. 
Providing an insight into the double-sided world of international espionage I recommend this novel to any reader with an interest in this genre. A really good read.
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This is a story about a Spy novelist who is tempted into trying the real thing, with mixed results. Lots of twists and turns and although Kit turns out to be rather inept and naïve, common sense and intuition carry him through.
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Really enjoyed this. Good characters, intriguing twists and overall kept me hooked from beginning to end.
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A Charles Cummings story that is slow to take off but then gathers the relentless momentum we expect from this master of his craft. I was hooked and thoroughly enjoyed the novel.
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Cummings has this novel set in the post KGB era. Our reluctant hero, who is a writer, inadvertently gets himself involved in the spy game that involves both Langley and MI6. Lots of intrigued and action. A good holiday read although preferred the previous book.
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If you would like to read a Fantasy thriller then look no further.
This is so ridiculous that the plot is totally implausible.
The characters are a total joke.
Not for me.
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There are many people who now regard a Charles Cumming novel as an essential part of their summer. This is as compelling as his previous titles, just as suspenseful and well worth the wait
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Great premise yet somehow the world and character LD were just ridiculously inauthentic. They all seemed rather inept and everything relied too much on
Coincidence. A nice enough read but very much 3/5
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Carradine, the writer at the heart of The Man Between dreams of greater action in his life and company too. So, when a stranger offers him a new life as a member of the Service, he naively jumps at it. After all, many in his trade have done it before. Maugham, Greene and Forsyth. His first assignment; a delivery boy for the Service at a literary festival in Morocco, oh and by the way keep a lookout for this woman. Yes, the woman, intelligent and beautiful who leaves a soft spot in some men’s hearts. As a man you can understand her attraction, you’re drawn like a moth to a flame and like a moth you’re very likely to get your wings singed. So it was for Kit Carradine, heady but ephemeral and a baptism of craft technique. 
I think the trick with The Man Between was that we could identify with Kit Carradine and if ever one of you have been lucky enough to fall in love with a ‘Lara Bartok’, you’ll know exactly how if feels.
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A writer finds himself recruited to the security services and takes on the opportunity to have the career his father was denied. A standalone thriller, good pacing and interesting twists. A good read.
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Really enjoyable.  I believe that we have no idea what goes on within the realms of security services across the world.  It's all 'rob Peter to pay Paul' and we are all under constant surveillance. Big Brother is definitely watching us.
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First time I’ve read anything by Charles Cumming but it won’t be the last. A great easy read that keeps you interested from the first page. Can a writer of spy books become a spy himself?
Lots of twists and turns as the plots and settings take you on a rollercoaster ride with the main character.
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In a novel which could have been the story of the author’s own fantasy life, Charles Cumming tells of a writer of spy novels who is enticed into the real world of ‘spooks’. Walking through London one day he’s seemingly recognised by a fan of his books, but as the brief conversation plays out it seems to him that there’s more here than initially meets the eye. Phone numbers are exchanged and suddenly Kit Carradine is wondering if he’s going to be tapped up to do some work for MI6.

In no time at all, Carradine finds himself heading for Morocco to attend a book festival he’d already had in plan but also to attempt to track down a woman. Lara Bartok is the ex-girlfriend of the now deceased leader of a revolutionary group named Resurrection. The group's declared aim is to expose and embarrass right wing figures who they deemed responsible for spreading hatred and violent across the world. But, in time, the group’s own actions grew to be ever more radical and Bartock became disenfranchised and left both her boyfriend and the group. Carradine has a parcel to deliver to Bartock, but very little information to work with in terms of tracking her down other than the belief that, as a literary fan, she might be tempted to attend the festival.

As with all such novels, things are never quite as they seem and there’s a fair amount of double-dealing and misdirection to work through. But Cummings handles the subtleties of the plot well and I found that the surprises delivered and didn’t feel ill-considered or irrational. And I liked the character development too, with the small cast all being given adequate space for the reader to gain some appreciation of who they might (or might not) be. The setting also worked for me; this felt like true spy story territory, with its background of narrow streets and crowded spaces and I could almost smell the scent of freshly ground spices emanating from the souks and the putrid stench of the tanneries.

I found the story to be complex enough to tease my brain but not so convoluted that it caused me to (literally) lose the plot. There’s also a good mix of verbal jousting and exciting action scenes. Yes, this book has it all! I recommend it highly to anyone who enjoys the books of John le Carré and the like.
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This was a brilliant book which kept my attention from the very first page. I loved the way the plot unfolded, the main characters were very connectable. I read this book in one sitting, I couldn’t put it down. Highly recommended. 

Many thanks to Netgalley and Charles Cumming for the copy of this book. I agreed to give my unbiased opinion voluntarily.
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This was an interesting story of a man outside of his comfort zone.  Kit, a writer, gets himself further and further entwined into a series of events way outside his experience.  He is trying to be a spy, but doesn't quite know how to be.  
I enjoyed this author's writing and look forward to reading more.
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A tale of intrigue and espionage. Good plot great characters. Well written and keeps you hooked right till the end. A very well written spy thriller.
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