Will Flemyng’s world is turned upside down in James Naughtie’s stunning prequel to The Madness of July
James Naughtie established himself a “capable and elegant writer” (Wall Street Journal
) with his gripping and highly praised debut, The Madness of July
. He sets his new, “brilliant spy thriller” (The Guardian
) in the feverish atmosphere of Paris, in April of 1968. The cafes are alive with talk of revolution, but for Scottish-American Will Flemyng―a spy working in the British Embassy―the crisis is personal. A few words from a stranger on the metro change his life. His family is threatened with ruin and he now faces the spy’s oldest fear: exposure.
Freddy Craven is the hero and mentor Flemyng would trust with his life, but when he is tempted into a dark, Cold War labyrinth, he chooses the dangerous path and plays his game alone. And when glamorous, globe-trotting journalist Grace Quincy, in pursuit of a big story, is found dead in the Pere Lachaise cemetery, the question is raised―what side was she on? Certainly she knew too much, and had become dangerous. But to whom? The bizarre murder reveals a web of secrets, and Fleming’s loyalty to family and friends is tested as never before. As the streets of Paris become a smoke-filled battleground, Flemyng, like his friends and enemies, discovers that where secrets are at stake, lives are too. Once again James Naughtie spins an irresistible, intelligent, and page turning thriller.
“Fans of John le Carré and Len Deighton will welcome Naughtie's superior spy thriller, a prequel to 2014's The Madness of July. The characters' struggles between personal and public responsibilities play out against a background rarely used in espionage fiction―the growing unrest in Paris in April 1968…. Naughtie draws on his experience as a political correspondent for The Washington Post and Britain's The Guardian to make the story's dramatic developments plausible.”
—Publishers Weekly (Starred review)
“An involved and beautifully-written spy story, as convincing as any of John Le Carré's.”
“Psychologically detailed…a clever, intelligent political novel by someone who knows the territory intimately.”
“A complex first spy novel which comes with all the convincing insider knowledge you’d expect from a political journalist with his experience on both sides of the Atlantic…entertaining…vivid.”
is special correspondent for the BBC and one of Britain's best-known journalists, a broadcaster who has also worked for newspapers on both sides of the Atlantic, from The Washington Post
to The Guardian
. He was an anchor of the BBC Today
program for 21 years, and is the author of the cold war thriller The Madness of July