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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, recruited straight from an elite board school, is sent to France, tasked with gathering intelligence on an enigmatic Iranian businessman implicated in the Lockerbie bombing. But what Kite uncovers is more terrifying than anyone expected.... Now he faces the deadliest decision of his life....

2020. MI5 hear rumours of Box 88’s existence and go after Kite – but Iranian intelligence have got to him first. Taken captive and brutally tortured, Kite 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

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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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  • Swifty
  • 07-10-2020

Decent novel but careless narration

Anna Karenina is pronounced with the stress on the second syllable not the third; the first syllable of Beauchamp Place rhymes with Beech, not Bow; and John Menzies is pronounced to rhyme with thingies, especially in Scotland .... I found these endless errors very irritating

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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.

3 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.

1 person 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.

1 person found this helpful

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  • 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!

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  • Miss G S Byrne
  • 13-01-2021

Gripping as Always!

Charlie Anson is the perfect narrator for a Charles Cumming story and bang on with pace and tension. Cummings characterisation and world building is spot on in every one of his books and Box 88 is definitely in my top 3, along with The Trinity Six and Typhoon. I get the feeling that Kite might be an uncanny likeness to Charles himself in many ways. The internal conflicts of the young Kite in 1989, compared to the mature Kite in 2020 was very well done in the switch in timelines throughout the narrative. I think it's about time one, or even all of Cummings' spy stories was adapted for the British screen.. if that happens Charles, please don't sell out to Hollywood! All in all, be prepared to get nothing else done whilst listening to Box 88!

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  • Steve H.
  • 10-12-2020

good

slow start but enough of a story to hold it and a few good characters

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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.

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  • Boysie
  • 07-11-2020

Very Poor Narration

If MI5 are as incompetent as portrayed in this book then we are in serious trouble. I see no worth whatsoever for their inclusion in the story. The one character of interest could have been introduced into the story line in another way. The narration was diabolica l- stilted with too many pauses. The conversations did not flow and I felt the narrator needed a slap round the head and told to get a move on. If this isn't edited out then others will also mention it. Other than the unnecessary inclusion of the incompetent MI5 officers the story line is solid enough and sets up other books in a series. However, even though I have read or listened to every one of Charles Cumming's books, if the same narrator is used, I will never listen to another.

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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.

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