Tom Kell has been having a bad year; he and his wife are separated and he was forced to leave his job as an SIS agent due to a scandal in Afghanistan where he was made the fall guy. Now, the soon-to-be Chief of the SIS, and first female chief, has gone missing in France and the SIS wants her found before she's to be sworn in in two weeks. This makes them turn to Kell, who can keep things quiet, knows how to operate and is friends with Amelia Levene, the missing woman.
His search for her takes him to a couple of different countries and I was surprised that he found Amelia relatively quickly; I thought that might take up most of the book. However, it turns out that there was more to the story than about why Amelia went to France in the first place, more than even she knew. Kell, though he's technically finished his job since he located Amelia, feels there's more than meets the eye and uncovers something going on that no one could've suspected.
I won an ARC of this book and wasn't sure what to expect of A Foreign Country, but I've been into spy books and really like books set in England. Most spy/international mystery books I've read have quite a bit more action than this one. If you're looking for a lot of it, this isn't the book for you, but I imagine that this is actually more the pace of the spy business; a lot of hurry up and wait. While I did like the characters, and I'd definitely read a sequel, if there is one, I wish at least some of the characters were at least a little bit happy. Everyone seemed so miserable and unhappy with their lives and relationships, and it was a little depressing at times. Also, a touch of sarcasm or humor, especially that snarky British wit I love, would've been a great addition and offset some of the mopiness nicely. While I questioned the actual possibility of what was behind the plot, as well as what happened, actually ever taking place I did like this book. If you're looking for a well paced spy novel, which picks up just a little bit, action-wise, in the end, I'd definitely recommend A Foreign Country.