A Book Spy Review: ‘The Moroccan Girl’ by Charles Cumming

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The Moroccan GirlWhen bestselling thriller author Kit Carradine is approached by a fan named Robert Mantis, he at first believes the encounter to be like any other run-in with a loyal reader. That changes when Mantis reveals himself to be a member of MI6 and then informs Carradine that his government wants him to spy for them. 

Having written thrillers for years, Kit is all too excited to live the life he’s imagined. His mission, should he choose to accept it, is to deliver cash to one of Mantis’ people while also looking for a woman named Lara Bartok. Though he quickly finds out that real-life espionage is nothing like what’s portrayed in James Bond movies, Kit eagerly heads to a literary festival in Morocco, all the while trying to think and act like the characters he’s created and developed over his career as a novelist. 

It’s there, in Morocco, that Kit finally finds Bartok, only to discover that she’s actually the former lover of Ivan Simakov, the leader of Resurrection, a terrorist group targeting right-wing journalists and politicians. Though they started off as a peaceful organization designed to fight back against opposing political views, Resurrection quickly turned violent, brutally killing when necessary to further their cause. The Russian and American governments represent just two of the powerful parties after Ivan and his minions, and before he even knows what hit him . . . Kit suddenly finds himself at the center of it all. 

While some of Cumming’s readers will be disappointed that this book isn’t part of his popular Thomas Kell series (last seen in A Divided Spy, 2017), 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. 

Spies, sex, and supervillains. What more could you possibly need? Charles Cumming’s The Moroccan Girl is a wild, twisting, and fun ride from start to finish. 

Book Details

Author: Charles Cumming
Pages: 416 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 1250129958
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: February 12, 2019
Book Spy Rating: 8.0/10

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Praised as “one of today’s finest book reviewers” by New York Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds, Ryan Steck (“The Godfather of the thriller genre” — Ben Coes) has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). Steck also works full-time as a freelance editor and pens a monthly thriller column for CrimeReads. For more information, be sure to follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.

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