I saw a notice in NetGalley.com that an advanced electronic copy of “The Moroccan Girl” by Charles Cumming was available in exchange for an honest review. I took NetGalley up on this offer. The mechanics of requesting this book, receiving it on my Kindle, and filing the review were very user-friendly.
The publication date of “The Moroccan Girl” is February 2019, but I prepared the review shown below in late November 2018.
This is an excellent espionage thriller.
Charles Cumming has again written a believable espionage thriller in the tradition of John LeCarré. His story involves a thriller writer who is recruited to work for British Intelligence. His thriller writer protagonist seems very real, flaws and all. He is certainly a refreshing break from the superhero military operative so prevalent in today’s thrillers. Cumming’s strength is the creation of a feeling of paranoia experienced by an ordinary person with some training or knowledge of intelligence who is thrust into a situation far more dangerous than he had anticipated. Like LeCarré, Cumming’s plot has many twists and turns. His protagonist sometimes does foolish things that a normal person might do. Sometimes the protagonist does not read the situation correctly. The reader is never sure of exactly who the villain is. To me, this makes for a very good espionage story, and I enjoyed “The Moroccan Girl” very much.
As the title indicates, much of the story is set in Morocco, and Cumming does enough research to make this setting come alive and provide additional richness to the story.
My only criticism is probably the result of the fact that I read a galley proof on a Kindle. I found the use of various interview reports spaced throughout the book a little difficult to deal with. The switch from narrative to the document was a little confusing to this reader. I am sure this issue can be fixed with some clever formatting.
Other than that small issue, I found this book very enjoyable, and look forward to read many other books written by this author.