Thursday, April 4, 2019

My Washington Times Review Of 'The Moroccan Girl'

The Washington Times published my review of Charles Cumming’s The Moroccan Girl.

In Frederick Forsyth’s memoir, “The Outsider: My Life in Intrigue,” the author of the classic thriller, “The Day of the Jackal,” tells how he came to perform various functions for the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), also known as MI6.

He was working as a journalist in Africa when an SIS officer asked him for information about the war in Biafra. While working as a journalist and later a thriller writer, he continued to assist the SIS on numerous occasions, and the SIS returned the favor by providing Mr. Forsyth with information for his thrillers.

In a piece written at St. Martin’s Press, Charles Cumming explains how he was influenced by Frederick Forsyth’s SIS connection when he came to write his latest spy thriller, “The Moroccan Girl.”

“In my new novel, ‘The Moroccan Girl,’ a successful writer of spy thrillers becomes an agent for MI6. Kit Carradine is in his mid-30s. He lives alone in London, forever putting off the moment when he has to sit at his desk and write the required 1000 words per day which will allow him to meet the deadline on his latest book. Restless and easily distracted, Carradine is struggling to come to terms with what he calls the ‘Groundhog Day routine’ of the writer’s life. In short, he’s a bit bored,” Mr. Cumming writes.

Mr. Cumming has Kit Carradine run into a man named Robert Mantis in London who identifies himself as a British intelligence officer. Mantis asks Carradine to become a support agent for the Service and perform a couple of jobs while he is attending a book festival in Marrakech. Carradine, intrigued by the chance of becoming a bona fide spy, agrees.

“Could such a thing happen in real life? Does MI6 use writers in this capacity — or can I be accused of writing a 350-page wish-fulfilment fantasy?” Mr. Cumming writes. “The answer is: of course! MI6 has a well-documented history of recruiting novelists to its cause.”

You can read the rest of the review via the below link:

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