Thursday, August 5, 2010

Free Country is published in the UK

Publication day is here once again, with the the release of my second novel, Free Country, by Simon & Schuster in the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. You can buy it from all the usual places, including Amazon, Waterstones,, Chapters.Indigo, WH Smith and The Book Depository . The 'hotly anticipated and gripping sequel to "retro-cool romp" Free Agent', the book takes Paul Dark to Italy, where he has to uncover a conspiracy that dates back to the earliest days of the Cold War. I hope it's an intense and gripping read that people will enjoy, but will also find thought-provoking, as its subject is rather bleak: terrorism, and the role governments sometimes play in it. You can read more about the book in this top secret dossier that Simon & Schuster have 'leaked' online, and which features highlights from Paul Dark's MI6 dossier, among other things. If you want a hard copy of this document, S&S are giving away a limited number of them. Follow my publicist Anna Robinson's Twitter account for details.

I was interviewed at Harrogate by Unbound, and you can find the transcript of that here, and the full audio of it here. I talk about my inspirations for Paul Dark, the Biafran war, and a little about the screenplay for Ian Fleming's book The Diamond Smugglers, which I discovered a while ago and wrote about for The Sunday Times here. The author of that screenplay, the Australian writer Jon Cleary, sadly died last week, having sold eight million books over seven decades as a writer. I had the honour of talking to him on the telephone, and found him erudite, charming and with a wickedly dry wit. There was an obituary of him in The Australian, and I also highly recommend reading his thrillers, especially those featuring Scobie Malone.

I've also done a short interview at, which you can read here, and I've got another few coming up shortly. Keep an eye on my Facebook and Twitter pages for more info - and I hope you enjoy Free Country! I certainly had a lot of fun writing it.


  1. Exciting times.

    Look forward to reading it when it hits the stores downunder.

    I was chatting to a mutual acquaintance (Mr Minford) about this very book the other day. Of course, we both agreed that you didn't deserve a second book.

    Neither of us envious, of course. Much! :)

    Best of luck with it.

  2. The interview from Unbound was a treat. Great to here you talking about the lost Dimound Smuggerles script you discovered. That was the Bond highlight of the year for me with what could have been. It would have been fantastic with Steve McQueen as the lead.

    Plenty of intresting snippets about Dark. And it was all conducted on a steam train? Or Cafe with a coffee machine.

  3. Thanks, Chris - it should be available in Australia now, but let me know if you can't find it. And say hi to Dave for me! Has he moved?

    Thanks for the kind comments about the Unbound interview, Nicholas. It was conducted on an overnight sleeper between Peking and... no, I tell a lie, it was indeed a cafe, in Harrogate. :) Glad you enjoyed The Diamond Smugglers article. Thriller-writing has lost one of its great practitioners in Jon Cleary. And he was great fun to talk to.

  4. You said in the interview you didnt enjoy Fleming's Bond books first time round when you were younger. I am glad you went back to them later in life and enjoyed them, do you think us Dark fans might not have got Paul Dark if you didnt go back and enjoy them?

    Very sad news to hear Jon Cleary's passing. It was good that your article came out in his lifetime and that the amazing story has now been told. The article stands as a wonderful tribute to Jon Cleary.

  5. Thanks for the comments, Nick - I missed this earlier somehow, sorry. Regarding Ian Fleming, yes of course the Bond novels have been a massive influence on me, and are certainly one reason I am writing about a British agent in the Sixties. I don't know if I'd have written Free Agent if I hadn't gone back and read Fleming and enjoyed him, but I suppose if I had it would have been different in several ways.