Tommy /|\'s Reviews > The Trinity Six

The Trinity Six by Charles Cumming
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Jul 30, 11


I'm not always that into spy/thriller books. I make a few exceptions - usually for Tom Clancy and that lot -- especially when I know the storyline is compelling, fun and has a lot of character development. Cumming does not disappoint this triad of requirement for me.

I requested the book from the Early Reviewers program at Library Thing solely because I was familiar with the saga of the Cambridge Five and the purported myth of a sixth individual. The story started out somewhat slowly, with a lot of additional background added for the main character, as well as the mystery "sixth" man. From there, Gaddis (the main character) undertakes steps that any academic would follow, in trying to track down the story he is trying to write. What he finds out is that the story he is writing is really the sheet covering a nation-state secret that could change the world's political landscape in a very drastic manner.

The action in the book takes a while to get going - but when it does, it becomes the roller-coaster it promises to be and even more. The twists and turns in the under-world of espionage played out in the shadows of everyday life are compellingly written. Once I hit the two-thirds point in the book, it was extremely difficult to set this down each night.

Equally interesting is the character development that Gaddis undertakes from the beginning of the book to the end. His naivety is slowly stripped away, as he learns the ever-changing world of the nation-state spies. Furthermore, he establishes levels of doubt to the veracity of any individual that he comes across after being burned far too many times by individuals he felt he could trust. A typical character trait that would normally develop in such circumstances. This one particular setting made this novel into a storyline that I felt I was "riding" along as an observer.

I would enthusiastically recommend "The Trinity Six" to anyone looking for a rolling spy novel set against the events of the not-so-recent past of the Cold War era in Europe. The characters are believable, act as I would have expected "normal" human beings to react with similar experience and understandings in the situation. My only letdown was a somewhat stilted nature of conversation between Gaddis and the mystery sixth man in the first third of the book. However, it turned out to be an extremely minor thing for me and did very little to dent the excellence of this novel.
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