'Five stars. One of the best books I've read in a very, very long time' James O'Brien, LBC 'This is first class' The Times 'A highly accomplished novel from a new writer of great promise' Financial Times 'What this novel shows is how powerful a book can be when the writer looks the country straight in the face and writes about what they see. Le Carré used to be very good at doing that... Now Charles Beaumont has done it, too' Private Eye #1615 ‘A marvellously confident debut, sharply observed and exceptionally well written’ Charles Cumming, author of Box 88 Everyone knows about the Cambridge Spies from the Fifties, identified and broken up after passing national secrets to the Soviets for years. But no spy ring was ever unearthed at Oxford. Because one never existed? Or because it was never found...? 2022: Former spy Simon Sharman is eking out a living in the private sector. When a commission to delve into the financial dealings of a mysterious Russian oligarch comes across his desk, he jumps at the chance. But as Simon investigates, worrying patterns begin to emerge. His subject made regular trips to Oxford, but for no apparent reason. There are payments from offshore accounts that suddenly just... stop. Has he found what none of his former colleagues believed possible, a Russian spy ring now nestled at the heart of the British Establishment? Or is he just another paranoid ex-spook left out in the cold, obsessed with redemption? From Oxford’s hallowed quadrangles to brush contacts on Hampstead Heath, agent-running in Vienna and mysterious meetings in Prague, A Spy Alone is a gripping international thriller and a searing portrait of modern Britain in the age of cynical populism. Perfect for readers of Charles Cumming, Mick Herron and John le Carré. Praise for A Spy Alone 'Beaumont is at the forefront of the espionage genre, capturing the changing nature of intelligence: soft influence and business deals are overtaking stolen secrets; long-term insinuation is replacing Cold-War tradecraft. Brilliant' I. S. Berry, author of The Peacock and the Sparrow 'The best spy novel I’ve read for years... An astonishing debut... and a brilliant portrait of how Britain allowed Russia to game our recent politics, including with Brexit' Luke Harding, author of Invasion: Russia's Bloody War and Ukraine's Fight for Survival 'A post-Brexit take on the classic British spy novel, combining a cynical ex-spy protagonist and a major role for Bellingcat-OSINT types' Shashank Joshi, Defence Editor, The Economist 'Beaumont ... catches the zeitgeist of (le Carré) .... He conveys all the world of espionage with relish, in its murky motives and surveillance techniques and the book races along and makes for a stunning debut' Maxim Jakubowski, Crime Time 'A clever, thrilling spy story that brings the feel of Eric Ambler's shadowy political intrigues right into today's world' Jeremy Duns, author of Free Agent ‘Tense, compelling and remarkably timely... Shades of some of the greats of spy fiction – it might even be better than Charles Cumming’ Dominick Donald, author of Breathe ‘Beaumont takes the intrigue, atmosphere and subterfuge of the Cambridge Spies and brings it bang up to date with a what-if tale of an Oxford spy ring at the service of modern-day populist politicians and malevolent regimes. Chilling’ Chris Lloyd, author of The Unwanted Dead