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Archive for the tag “political thriller”

Blog Tour – ‘Corrupted’ by Simon Michael ~ #LoveBooksGroup @urbanebooks @simonmichaeluk

‘Corrupted’ is the fourth book in the Charles Holborne series.  It was published in paperback and as an eBook on the 21st June 2018 by Urbane Publications.  I am thrilled to be taking part in this blog tour today and would like to thank Love Books Group for inviting me to participate.

I have a wonderful guest post from Simon Michael.  First though here’s what ‘Corrupted’ is about.

 

Book Blurb

Corrupted is the fourth book in the Charles Holborne thriller series, and Simon Michael’s follow up to the bestselling The Lighterman.

Charles is building his reputation as a brilliant murder trial lawyer and living the good life with partner Sally. But he can’t escape the influences and dangers of the past, and finds himself drawn once more into the orbit of the notorious Kray twins.

It’s not long before Charles is courting scandal and threats to his very life when investigating a sex ring that involves not just the Krays and the Mafia, but goes to the very echelons of the country’s power.

Simon Michael brings the past back to life across a beautifully rendered swinging 60s landscape, and delivers a gripping piece of thriller fiction that will excite any fan of the genre.

 

Guest Post

A SEX SCANDAL … A MURDER … AND A COVER UP

ANOTHER VERY ENGLISH SCANDAL

 

THE GANGSTER

THE LABOUR MP

THE TORY HOME SECRETARY

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE TORY LORD

THE CAT BURGLAR

THE PRIME MINISTER IN WAITING

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Establishment cover-up of the sexual shenanigans of high-profile figures. Who are we talking about this time – Jeremy Thorpe MP? Cyril Smith MP?

If you’ve read any of the Charles Holborne crime thrillers you will know that the 1960s and 1970s were the “Wild West” of British justice. Gangs like the Krays, the Richardsons and the Messina brothers carved their territories with firebombs, razors and shooters, vying for control of the proceeds of London’s prostitution, pornography, protection money and illegal gambling. And departments of the Metropolitan Police such as the Sweeney and the Dirty Squad (Obscene Publications Squad) were almost institutionally corrupt; they skimmed profits, protected the villains and fitted up and verballed innocent men. It wasn’t until 1978, the start of Operation Countryman, that the clean-up of the Met began, and it took well over a decade before most of the bent coppers had been thrown out or imprisoned.

That’s why this period is a goldmine to a crime writer, especially one like myself who spent decades on the inside of the criminal justice system and who saw first-hand just how corrupt and dysfunctional it was. All I needed to do was put an honest but flawed brief in the centre of all this; a brief with “a past” and a single-minded drive to pursue justice at any cost; incorporate details of cases in which I was instructed; mix well; and watch the sparks fly.

While the first three books in the series have generally followed Charlie, and his complicated and dangerous relationship with the Krays, through the early 1960s, in Corrupted I stumbled across an astonishing event that took place during the summer of 1964. It involved not only the usual mix of professional gangsters and bent policeman but also senior members of the Conservative government and of the opposition Labour Party. It led to the Home Secretary putting pressure on the Metropolitan Police Commissioner to lie about an ongoing investigation; it led to a planted question in the House of Lords; it led to huge libel damages being wrung out of a national newspaper for printing what was, essentially, a true story. Most importantly, it led to the Krays becoming untouchable by the police for several years, during which time their reign of violent criminality continued and two men were murdered. It is a scandal that is well-documented but not well-known, and started with Ronnie Kray’s gay sex parties and its high-profile guests.

Corrupted is a violent crime thriller; it’s a “whodunnit” and it’s a “whydoneit”; but it is also a political thriller, one of enormous current resonance, and it seems to have struck a chord: “Crackles with tension” “instantly classic” “jaw-dropping suspense-filled” “old-school espionage with elegance” “A truly awesome thriller”.

Corrupted is published by Urbane Publications.

 

About Simon Michael

During Simon Michael’s years of practice at the Bar he has prosecuted and defended enough murderers, armed robbers, con artists and other assorted villainy to provide him with a lifetime of true crime stories. The Charles Holborne thriller series is set in the dangerous gangland streets of 1960s London. Simon currently lives in London.

 

Links

‘Corrupted’ can be purchased from Amazon UK:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Corrupted-gripping-Charles-Holborne-thriller-ebook/dp/B07CRC1GX6/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1528636178&sr=1-2&keywords=Corrupted

 

Website:          www.simonmichael.uk

Facebook:        www.facebook.com/simonmichael.uk

Twitter:           www.twitter.com/simonmichaeluk

Interview with James Silvester

James Silvester

Last year James Silvester wrote a guest post for my blog.  As part of my blog event I asked him a few questions.

 

Your debut novel seems to be doing very well.  Could you tell me a bit about ‘Escape to Perdition’ please?

Thanks Sonya! It’s a political thriller, set mainly in Prague, which deals with the fall out of the Czech Republic and Slovakia attempting reunification. An EU faction wants to prevent the change and assigns the main character to prevent it via nefarious means. The chosen man however is battling with the guilt of his profession and ultimately falls in love with his target, and the main focus of the book is on his journey.

 

Where did you get the idea for your book from?

Ooh, lots of places. From being at school, the history of Czechoslovakia, particularly events like the Prague Spring and the Velvet Revolution has fascinated me and that stayed with me as I grew up. As fate would have it, I ended up marrying into a Slovak family and consequently spend a lot of time in that part of the world, which I took advantage of in terms of research. Getting that first hand sense of the frustrations and passions of people living through the events I’d been studying was invaluable. It also struck me how this region had been so manipulated throughout history, which got me thinking as to whether it still was, and if so by whom and why? I slowly cobbled things together from there really. I’ve always enjoyed espionage as a genre in general, but I always prefer the focus to be on character and consequences, rather than action set pieces necessarily, and that was the main motivation really.

 

How long did it take you to write?

I’d been thinking about the story for quite a long time, several years in fact. But in terms of actually sitting down and purposefully writing, I’d say two years.

 

How easy was it to get published by Urbane Publications?

Hmm, interesting… I have been thinking about this recently. I would never say it was easy to be published (by Urbane or anyone else), I think it’s true that Matthew and I stumbled across each other at precisely the right time (maybe it was Divine providence!). I had the bulk of my draft ready and was trying to get a feel for approaching publishers when I came across Matthew on Twitter, who was busy reaching out to writers and going about getting Urbane established. I liked the interaction he offered when previously, no publisher I’d come across would e-mail back or look at me twice. Eventually, after I’d sent him my stuff, he got back to me with some positive thoughts and we ended up having a good chat about my project, how we could develop it etc. It was very important to me to know that that initial burst of optimism and enthusiasm for my work would remain and that if I signed with Urbane I wouldn’t be forgotten about six months later when a raft of bigger, better writers were signed up. Matthew quickly assured me of his commitment and after that, I didn’t want to go with anyone else. That was back in September 2014 and I’m delighted with how the collaboration has gone and the relationship developed since that point, it’s been everything I hoped for and more.

 

I understand your are going to have another book published.  Is it going to be the same genre as your current one or something different?

Still very much in Thriller territory! The new book is called The Prague Ultimatum and can be read as a loose sequel to Escape to Perdition, in that some of the familiar characters will feature in places and it will take place within the ‘universe’ established in the first book. I’m not a fan of formulaic ‘Hollywood’ sequels, so it was important for me to tell a story that deserved telling in its own right, not simply because the first book exists. Readers, for example, can pick up any of John Le Carre’s ‘Karla Trilogy’ in any order and enjoy a good read, without necessarily having read the other instalments, and I’m hoping to achieve something similar. Time will tell….

 

Have you got any other writing projects on the go?

Right now, the new book is my number one focus and all the energy is going into that. I have written a rough draft of a sitcom I’d like to try and pitch. It needs some work, and realistically It’ll be around Christmas before I get back to it, but it’s there in the back of my dusty, cluttered mind. I also have a synopsis outlined for a final addition to the loose ‘Prague Trilogy’ which I’ve been focussed on for so long. That would be set in the dying days of the Cold War and, again, it would have some recognisably ‘prequel’ elements complimenting the story. I hope that sees the light of day someday… Then of course, I’d love to have a bash at some more Doctor Who short stories!

 

Was it always a dream to become a writer?

Very much so, but it was a dream I allowed every day life to push to the side-lines for a long time. I’d been flirting with the idea of writing for a few years before I eventually got back to it. Ultimately it was a bad day at work that saw me sit down in front of my PC and just say ‘why not?’

 

Would you like to be a full-time writer one day?

Yes please! That’s the dream anyway, to one day emerge from the loop of ‘so may things to write, so little time’. My absolute dream job would be Head writer of Doctor Who, and writing thrillers between series. One day…..

 

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to write their first novel?

Never wait for the perfect time to start writing, because it will never come, write for yourself first, be careful who you take advice from and send your draft to Matthew when you’re finished.

 

Would you like to see ‘Escape to Perdition’ made into a film?

I’d love to. I’m biased of course, but I think it would work well on film. I’m sure a lot of writer’s do this but when I was writing it, I did have certain actors in mind for a few of the characters, so there’s a cast list there already if any studios are reading? That said, just having the book published means an enormous amount to me personally. Whether or not a film is made in the future can’t change the fact that there’s a book on my shelf that I wrote. That’s a wonderful feeling I don’t think I’ll ever get used to.

 

What do you think about social media?

I have mixed feelings really. As a new writer it’s been invaluable in reaching people and expanding my readership, engaging with bloggers and reader’s groups etc.. Plus of course, I wouldn’t have met Matthew and been published without it. I do have concerns about social media though; it has a sinister side to it that reflects the worst of our natures. Trolling, keyboard warrior battles and the like unsettle me, plus of course innocent people can have their lives destroyed by social media. So, it has its uses and is great for meeting people, but handle with care…

 

If you had to stay on a desert island for a whole month and were only allowed to take three items with you what would they be?

A month of uninterrupted writing time? Bliss! In the absence of electricity to power my laptop, I’d need a very thick writing pad and pen (is that one or two items?), my glasses and a book for inspiration, maybe The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. Is that too boring an answer? Then maybe two bottles of rum and a pillow J

 

‘Escape to Perdition’ is available to buy from:-

Urbane Publications – http://urbanepublications.com/books/escape-to-perdition/

Amazon UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Escape-Perdition-James-Silvester-ebook/dp/B011A0EGNK/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1458480047&sr=1-1&keywords=escape+to+perdition

 

James Silvester’s Website – www.jamessilvesterauthor.com

Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/James-Silvester-Author-334954666692921/?ref=ts&fref=ts

Twitter – @jamessilvester1

 

‘Polls Apart’ by Clare Stephen-Johnston

‘Polls Apart’ is Clare Stephen-Johnston’s debut novel.  It is a political thriller about ambition and how it can come before love.

Anna Lloyd, a famous actress is married to political party leader Richard Williams.  When a General Election is called, Anna’s past, a terrible childhood of abuse and neglect, comes back to haunt her via the press.  It is a very painful time for her.  Her husband is urged by spin doctors to separate from her, a decision he soon comes to regret.  But he so wants to win the Election and become the next Prime Minister.

When Anna gives an interview revealing the full extent of her tortured youth she becomes a national heroine overnight.  Throughout this whole dirty smear campaign Anna asks herself a number of questions including what she really wants in life.

This is the first time I have read a political novel so I wasn’t completely sure what I would think about it, being that I am not really a huge fan of politics.  However, I found it to be a very good read.  The characters were portrayed well.  There were also a number of twists and turns.  It just made you want to keep reading on to see what would happen next.  You also get a good insight into what goes on in the world of politics particularly in the lead up to an election.

I think ‘Polls Apart’ would make a good TV drama.

I give this book 4 out of 5.

 

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