Red Widow – a review

A highly entertaining spy thriller and, for me, as someone who tries to write spy novels, an important lesson in how to sustain tension and conflict – and the author does so largely without tradecraft, the apparatus of espionage, and for the most part, without...

How Not To Get Published

The book industry is on the whole of the gentler, kinder sort. Publishers and literary agents tend to be pleasant and agreeable people in my limited experience, even as they do their best when under considerable pressure or in the face of unreasonable demands by...

Book review: How Spies Think: Ten Lessons in Intelligence

How Spies Think: Ten Lessons in Intelligence by David Omand I can imagine that the publishers were dazzled by the author’s background and qualifications: a former director of GCHQ, seven years on the Joint Intelligence Committee, permanent secretary at the Home...

Inspiration? What inspiration?

I was asked this question by my agent. I’m sorry, I said, but there wasn’t one. At least, there was no single inspiration for my next novel, provisionally entitled ’Emperor’, but instead a coming together of bits and pieces over time. The first element was my own...

The Emperor’s Pool

The Emperor’s Pool is the provisional title of a contemporary political thriller I’ve just finished and which I’m revising with my agent’s help. Set in Beijing and Washington DC, the novel is around one fifth longer than its predecessors at just over 100,000 words....

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