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Publisher's Summary

An organisation that doesn’t exist.

A spy that can’t be caught.

Years ago, a spy was born....

1989. The Cold War will soon be over, but for Box 88, a top secret spying agency, the espionage game is heating up.

Lachlan Kite is sent to France to gather intelligence on the Lockerbie bombing. What he uncovers is terrifying.... 

2020: Kite has been taken captive and brutally tortured. He now has a choice: reveal the truth about what happened in France 30 years earlier – or watch his family die.

In a battle unlike anything he has faced before, Kite must use all his skills to stay alive. 

©2020 Charles Cumming (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic Reviews

"BOX 88 is a wonderful spy novel; Charles Cumming’s most ambitious - and his best - yet." (Mick Herron, Sunday Times best-selling author of the Jackson Lamb series)

"Box 88 is so good. Charles Cumming is up there with the very best espionage writers." (Ian Rankin, Sunday Times number one best-selling author of the Rebus novels)

"Great work from Charles Cumming with a multi-layered plotline and an engaging hero." (James Swallow, Sunday Times best-selling author of Nomad)

What listeners say about BOX 88 (BOX 88, Book 1)

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Dull, plodding and childish. The work of an 18 year old with James Bond fever dreams. Easily his worst book.

Dull, plodding and childish. The work of an 18 year old with James Bond fever dreams. Easily his worst book.

5 people found this helpful

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An author at the very top of his game

Box 88 oozed quality. Somehow Charles Cumming mixed a 'coming of age' novel with a spy thriller and produced a masterpiece. Cumming dips into his childhood experiences to bring a touch of authenticity to his main character and builds up the tension in his story like a ticking time bomb. His novels have just the right balance of spy tradecraft, geopolitics, love interest and plot to keep the reader enthralled. Superb narration by Charlie Anson who 'nailed' the French and other accents. My only tiny criticism is that the hero's childhood love interest could have been so much more intrinsic to the plot, but ultimately fell flat.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Chad Morrison
  • 30-11-2020

Cummings goes from strength to strength.

This novel was a pleasure to read and would make for a great TV serialisation, if the rights have not already been sold. The third book I have read from the author and with each new title his craft improves. The story is a coming of age tale of a Scottish teen introduced to the world of international spying by a respected teacher from his private school. the story bounces from the past to the future smoothly and keeps context so as to not be annoying. Very enjoyable read.

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  • Marsham
  • 27-11-2020

A masterpiece

The only negative.of listening to Box 88 is the knowledge that it will sometime have to come to an end . Many thanks to Charles Cummins for stepping up yet again and delivering an absolute blinder.

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  • Ash
  • 24-10-2020

Terrible narrator. Endless horrendous pauses

I did not like this book at all. I stuck with it because I love all of Cummings other books, therefore was expecting some pathos or self deprecating hubris.

Basically I did not care about south of France holiday and given that the majority of the book was there, it failed
For me.

The narrator was just awful when reading the main character. Dreadful. I wish I’d believed the other bad reviews because they were right!!!! Avoid listening to this at all costs.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Active Listening
  • 11-12-2020

Jaw-droppingly bad

Fatuously narrated and appallingly badly written. Full of cliche and thinly written characters. If you want a contemporary spy novel, the Slough House series is in a totally different league.

5 people found this helpful

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  • S. Blanchard
  • 23-10-2020

Narrator lets this down...

I’m a Charles Cummings fan and I think this was shaping up to be good yarn, but I’m afraid I gave up after three chapters. Reading a story is a highly skilled job and I think the author deserved a better narrator on this one. The delivery is as if it’s aimed at nine year olds. Audiobooks are expensive (if you think about it) and we deserve good quality narrators.

4 people found this helpful

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  • monty niblet
  • 24-01-2021

Elegant novel

Ignore the poor reviews, this is a rather elegant novel with a multi layered, clever and intruiging plot. The start is slow but worth the wait. I have absolutely no problem with the narration, in fact I would say it is just right for the the story. I think the naysayers just didn't get it. Listen to it, it is good.

2 people found this helpful

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  • boromicky
  • 13-02-2021

not his best work

started off ok, then went downhill. glad I persisted with it as it did improve but much preferred his earlier books

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kennetman
  • 14-11-2020

OK I guess

Box88 concept good enough but the voice talent just wasn't up to scratch. I suppose I have got to used to Saul R. reading the Jackson Lamb series. I can see a series here but get another narrator please.

1 person found this helpful

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  • dave wills
  • 05-11-2020

Great Story... Extremely well narrated..

Cannot praise highly enough, looking forward to more books from this author. Hope others read it.

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for Lee Flewitt - author
  • Lee Flewitt - author
  • 23-10-2020

unlikely premise

A secret branch of the secret services - yeah, I know- recruit a teenager to spy on his friend's family. Come on! Silly but strangely quite enjoyable. Read by an earnest sounding first year school teacher, so no marks there. John Le Carre Mr Cummings definitely is not!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lucy Maud
  • 20-10-2020

Great story, audio not great.

Really enjoyable spy thriller, but a bit of a shame that there are random pauses in the narration. The dialogue is particularly jumpy.

The narrator is very good, great voices and accents.

1 person found this helpful

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  • David Purvis
  • 15-10-2020

Hooked!

Excellent book and probably Charles Cumming’s best yet. Very well paced and detailed and a great concept/story. I really liked the narration too.

1 person found this helpful

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