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The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott

With film rights bought by the producers of ‘La La Land’ and ‘The Night Manager’ and foreign rights sold in 28 countries this novel about the secrets behind Boris Pasternak's banned literary masterpiece, Dr Zhivago, is Hutchinson’s lead debut for 2019.

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The Secrets We Kept
By Lara Prescott
Hutchinson / 3 September / Hardback, Ebook, Audio/ £12.99

A book really can change the world.

At the height of the cold war, two secretaries are pulled out of the typing pool at the CIA and given the assignment of a lifetime: to smuggle Doctor Zhivago out of the USSR and help Boris Pasternak’s new novel make its way into print around the world.

Sally Forrester is a seasoned spy who uses her magnetism and charm to pry secrets out of powerful men. Irina is a novice, and under Sally’s direction quickly learns how to blend into a crowd, make connections and ferry classified documents all over Washington DC.

The Secrets We Kept combines a legendary literary love story - the decades-long love affair between Boris Pasternak and his mistress and muse, Olga, who went to prison for him and was the inspiration for Zhivago’s heroine, Lara – with a narrative about two American women whose lives of extraordinary intrigue and risk are entangled with the history of the CIA.

From Pasternak’s country estate in Peredelkina to the brutalities of the Gulag, from Washington, D.C . to Paris, Manhattan, and Milan, The Secrets We Kept captures a time and a place and a watershed moment in the history of literature with astonishing veracity and command.

Lara Prescott has woven an irresistible literary thriller from one of the greatest love stories of all time. This unforgettable debut novel – which captivates in its rich historical detail and soars in emotional intensity – is destined to be one of the books of the year.


  • How Lara’s old job working on political campaigns made her interested in cold war propaganda tactics—how tactics have evolved from books to Twitter bots and Facebook groups, but the motives are still the same.

  • How history repeats itself re: the censorship of literature, persecution of writers, and how those in power still fear the power of words.

  • Historically the spy novel genre is male-dominated, but there is now a rise of women writing spy fiction.

  • 2020 is the 60th anniversary of Pasternak’s death - his legacy and the importance of Doctor Zhivago today.


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Lara Prescott received her MFA as the prestigious Fania Kruger Fellow from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas, Austin. Before she started the MFA, she was an animal protection advocate and a political campaign operative.  She worked on campaigns around the world – including for the first woman prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago. She also worked at Bully Pulpit Interactive and AKPD.

Her stories have appeared in The Southern Review, The Hudson Review, Crazyhorse, BuzzFeed, Day One, Tin House Flash Friday, and other places. She won the 2016 Crazyhorse Fiction Prize (and Pushcart honourable mention) for the first chapter of this novel.  She has spent years researching the history around The Secrets We Kept.

Lara lives in Texas with her family.  @laraprescott

Lara will be in the UK from 28 September – 5 October 2019

She will be appearing at literary festivals and bookshops including:

  • Mr B’s, Bath – Tuesday 1 October

  • Henley Literary Festival – Wednesday 2 October (lunchtime)

  • Chorleywood Bookshop (event at Chorleywood Library) – Wednesday 2 October (evening)

  • Ilkley Festival – Saturday 5 October

  • Cheltenham Literary Festival – Sunday 6 October

Bearmouth by Liz Hyder

A bold and original novel about justice, independence and resisting oppression that introduces a remarkable new voice.

Liz Hyder is a writer of true courage
— David Almond
Ambitious and darkly brilliant...It’s provocative, tender, claustrophobic and epic. It blew my mind
— Kiran Millwood Hargrave

By Liz Hyder
Pushkin / 19 September / hardback / £12.99


Newt has been living and working in Bearmouth mine from a tender age. The days are full of strict routine and a quiet acceptance of how things are – until, that is, Devlin arrives. Newt fears any unrest will bring heightened oppression from the Master and his overseers. Life is hard enough and there is no choice about that. Or is there? Newt is soon looking at Bearmouth with a fresh perspective - one that does more than whisper about change: one that is looking for a way out.

Liz Hyder has written an astounding debut novel that shows a young person daring to challenge the status quo. Bearmouth draws on Liz's research into the working conditions of children in Victorian mines in Britain. Inspired by her findings, she has created an imagined world riven with social injustice and populated by characters who don't simply accept things because they are told they must.

a mighty impressive piece of work… compelling, powerful and utterly unique. The voice of Newt is so original, demonstrating a lyrical dexterity in such a brilliant style’ - Brian Conaghan, winner of the Costa Children’s Book Award

A hugely atmospheric read... a page-turner for sure’ - John McLay, Artistic Director, Bath Children's Literature Festival

‘memorable, different and stunning… BEARMOUTH is *that* fresh and new, and that exciting, just as Mortal Engines was when it came out’ - Katy Moran, author

clearly destined for greatness... It will stop you in your tracks. It will grip you, bewitch you, haunt you. It's a brilliant, brilliant book’ - Nicholas Pegg, writer, director, actor


  • How the Victorian era has been glamorised, we think of top hats, steam trains and infrastructure not the exploitation it was built on

  • The parallels between the Victorian era and now - how exploitation today has been re-branded as opportunity with the likes of zero hours contracts

  • Mining and children– with children as young as four working down the mines six days a week, it is a forgotten part of British history for many

  • The lack of creativity in the education system – importance of creative writing for and with young people

  • What I’ve Learnt from Storytelling - from working on soaps and ongoing series to novels, films, plays and a writing retreat in rural Scotland. The importance of understanding all sorts of stories in terms of content, form and style.

  • From the birth of the industrial revolution to the famed ‘blue remembered hills’ – why Shropshire is the best kept secret in the country

  • In defence of suburbia – growing up on the edge of the capital with Epping Forest as a playground

  • Language – why dialect, accents and making up words is important


Liz Hyder is a writer, creative workshop leader and freelance PR Consultant in the arts. She has been part of Writing West Midlands’s Room 204 writer development programme since 2016. In early 2018, she won The Bridge Award/Moniack Mhor's Emerging Writer Award. Bearmouth is her debut novel.

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A past member of the National Youth Theatre, Liz has a BA in Drama from the University of Bristol and is on the board of Wales Arts Review. Previously, she’s developed a pilot series with Channel 4 Scotland, collaborated with the E17 Shadow Puppet Theatre for the Cultural Olympiad and been runner-up of the Roy W Dean Writers’ Grant (International Writing Award). Her debut short film The Caller won the Highly Commended Award at London Film Festival and was the only UK film in competition at Slamdance that year.

She worked in BBC publicity for six years on everything from EastEnders, Holby and Casualty to Radio 4. Since going freelance, she has been shortlisted for and won various PPC Awards with both Riot Communications and Maura Brickell. Since 2016, she has been the Film Programme Coordinator at the main Hay Festival.

Liz is available for interviews, features, events and creative workshops. She is based in Shropshire but travels widely.


For more information about this book, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

Beyond Reasonable Doubt by Gary Bell

The start of a fantastic new legal series, perfect for fans of Robert Galbraith, written by an acclaimed QC and set in the extraordinary, stranger-than-fiction world of the halls of British justice

Beyond Reasonable Doubt 
Elliot Rook, QC: Book 1
By Gary Bell (and Scott Kershaw)
13 June 2019 / Hardback / Raven Books / £12.99

Elliot Rook QC is one of the greatest barristers of his generation. He is also a complete fraud.

Gary Bell

Unbeknown to the high society of the Inns of Court surrounding him, Rook is not the Old-Etonian, Oxford graduate he pretends to be. In fact, he is an ex-petty criminal with a past that he has spent decades keeping secret. 

Until now...

A young woman has been found murdered on the outskirts of Rook’s home town. Billy Barber a violent football hooligan and white supremacist – is accused of her murder. Barber is insisting that Rook defend him. If Rook refuses, Barber will expose him, bringing crashing to the ground the life and career that Rook has spent his life building. Rook must now team up with Zara Barnes, the state-school-educated apprentice dismissed out of hand by his snobbish legal counterparts, but in whom Rook sees a special talent.

The truth is there for the finding.

But at what cost?

Talking points

  • Gary used his own life as inspiration for his fiction (including pretending to be an Old Etonian)

  • Social diversity at the Bar

  • Cuts in legal aid and the knock-on effects

  • Crime and its causes

About Gary Bell

Born into a coal mining family, Gary Bell QC left school without any qualifications and was an apprentice mechanic, fork lift truck driver, production line worker, builder, fireman and door-to-door salesman, as well as a notorious football hooligan, before being arrested for fraud aged 18.

After a brief stint in prison he set off to seek fame and fortune abroad and, after two years drifting around Europe ended up penniless and homeless. He next enrolled in a FE College to study his O and A levels, and then went on to study law as a mature student at Bristol University where he 'became' an Old Etonian.

After graduating he spent a year as a litigation lawyer in Beverly Hills before coming back to England to become a barrister. He has spent over thirty years at the Bar, specialising in defending in major fraud and murder trials, becoming a QC in 2012.

Always on the look out for challenges and opportunities he has also been an award winning stand-up comedian; an after-dinner speaker (when at University he won several national debating competitions and was runner up in the World's Humorous Debating Competition at Princeton); he has learned to fly a plane, hosted his own TV show (the Legalizer) on BBC1; writes regularly for national newspapers; has a column in The Spectator and wrote his best-selling autobiography, Animal QC.

* Gary Bell is available for interview, features and events *

About Scott Kershaw 

Scott Kershaw is the author of two novels. Prior to becoming an author, Scott worked as a professional chef for several years, and travelled the continent as a music journalist.

More information 

For more information about this book, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

What Lies Around Us by Andrew Crofts

What Lies Around Us by Andrew Crofts

What Lies Around Us by Andrew Crofts

Red Door | 13 June 2019 | Hardback | £12.99

Why would one of Silicon Valley's most powerful billionaires offer a British ghostwriter a million dollars to write the autobiography of one of Hollywood's biggest stars?

Only once he is living and working amongst the world's richest and most beautiful people does the ghost realise that there is way more than a publishing deal at stake. Everyone he meets seems to have a hidden agenda and someone is willing to kill to ensure that their plans work out. But what are those plans, who are the ultimate puppet-masters and how far are they willing to go?

What Lies Around Us takes us to a world where ghostwriters work with presidents, (James Patterson and Bill Clinton writing The President is Missing), and create presidents, (Tony Schwartz who ghosted The Art of the Deal ,  setting President Trump on the road to becoming the most famous name in the world). 

This is the world of myth-makers, story-tellers and media manipulators – the people who really run the world and the ones who shape the global conversations.

Talking points

  • How exactly does it work when a rich and powerful man like Trump decides they want to write a book? Who shapes the message? How is the message sold?

  • Who is more likely to be telling the true stories today – ghostwriters, who are paid to create bestselling books, or journalists, who are paid to sell newspapers and create click-bait?

  • Why are books still such powerful media weapons, as illustrated by the multi-million selling political books of 2017 from authors like Michelle Obama, Bob Woodward and Michael Wolff?

  • How much power do ghostwriters and speech writers exert when telling the stories of political and business leaders and other celebrities?

  • Do traditional publishers add any value to a book? In this story every publisher in the world wants the book that the ghost is writing, but if the subject can afford to publish it themselves, why would they need a traditional publishing deal?

  • There is so much written about how hard it is to make a living as a writer, less about how much in demand ghostwriters are.                                                              

About Andrew Crofts

Andrew Crofts has published more than 100 books, including Confessions of a Ghostwriter, Freelance Writer’s Handbook and Ghostwriting, a dozen of which were Sunday Times bestsellers. Best-selling author, Robert Harris quoted Ghostwriting extensively in his novel The Ghost, later filmed by Roman Polanski with Ewan McGregor in the lead. 

Travelling all over the world Andrew has worked with victims of enforced marriages in North Africa and the Middle East, sex workers in the Far East, orphans in war-torn areas like Croatia and dictatorships like Romania, victims of crimes and abused children everywhere. He has also worked with celebrities from the worlds of film, music, television and sport.

Andrew’s fiction includes the critically acclaimed Secrets of the Italian Gardener, in which the same ghostwriter finds himself dangerously enmeshed in the Arab Spring while ghosting for a Middle Eastern ruler.

More information is available from: and you’ll find Andrew on Twitter at @AndrewCrofts 

Andrew is available for features, interviews and events.

More information

For more information about this book, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

The Black Earth By Philip Kazan

A heart-breaking love story set during the turbulent years leading to WWII and the Nazi occupation of Greece.

The Black Earth By Philip Kazan
Hardback | Allison & Busby | 19 April 2018 | £14.99

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1922. When the Turkish Army occupies Smyrna, Zoë Haggitiris escapes with her family, only to lose everything. Alone in a sea of desperate strangers, her life is touched, for a moment, by a young English boy, Tom Collyer, also lost, before the compassion of a stranger leads her into a new life.

Years later when war breaks out, Tom finds himself in Greece and in the chaos of the British retreat, fate will lead him back to Zoë. But he will discover that the war will not end so easily for either of them.

Talking points:

  • Kazan draws upon fascinating family history, including his grandfather, a British army officer who served in Greece in 1941, as well as his Greek grandmother and cousins who were migrants and refugees in the period. Zoë is based on Philip’s grandfather’s cousin.
  • Greek Civil War – not widely written about, even in Greece. Kazan writers about Dekemvriana, the December Events, where the British triggered the Civil War by taking sides with ex-Nazi collaborators and royalists against the Soviet-leaning resistance.
  • Inherited trauma – Philip’s grandfather served in WW1 and in Greece in WW2 and the impact of his experiences were felt by his son and grandson

About Philip Kazan

Philip Kazan was born in London and grew up on Dartmoor in south west England. He has written two novels set in Fifteenth Century Florence: Appetite, about the adventures of an early celebrity chef and The Painter Of Souls, an imagining of the early career of the artist Fra Filippo Lippi, which the Daily Mail called 'an irresistible feast of painting and quattrocento Italy, beautifully written and magnificently researched... a sheer pleasure from start to finish'.

As Pip Vaughan-Hughes, he also wrote the Petroc series - Relics, Vault Of Bones, Painted In Blood and The Fools' Crusade - about a relic smuggler in Thirteenth Century Europe. After living in New York and Vermont, Philip is back on the edge of Dartmoor with his wife and three children. / @pipkazan / #TheBlackEarth

The Long Forgotten by David Whitehouse

Outlandishly clever, ingenious . . . There’s no question that David Whitehouse is a writer to watch.
— Janet Maslin, New York Times

Picador / hardback - £14.99 / fiction / 22 March ‘18 / Ebook - £12.99

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‘Dove is walking to work along the canal when he remembers the bog violet. It just appears, however memories do, a glimmer of the past shining through the now…Dove knows nothing of flowers. And there are few of his age (if his age is thirty, which he thinks it is) who know what he now knows of the bog violet; that’s how vivid his memory is…The memory is as lucid as his reflection, stilling on the black glass of the canal. But where has he seen it before, and why is he recalling it now?’

When the black box flight recorder of a plane that went missing 30 years ago is found at the bottom of the sea, a young man named Dove begins to remember a past that isn't his. The memories belong to a rare flower hunter in 1980s New York, whose search led him around the world and ended in tragedy.

Restless and lonely in present-day London, Dove is quickly consumed by the memories, which might just hold the key to the mystery of his own identity and what happened to the passengers on that doomed flight, The Long Forgotten…

‘A great read and a touching and funny exploration of the true meaning of family’ - S J Watson, author of Before I Go To Sleep, on Mobile Library

‘A great, tender-hearted story about stories. It’s a book about what books can give us, and how they can add to our adventure – or even take us on one. A lovely read’ - Matt Haig, author of The Humans, on Mobile Library

About David Whitehouse

David Whitehouse is an award-winning novelist, journalist and screenwriter. His first novel, Bed, won the 2012 Betty Trask Award and his second novel, Mobile Library, won the 2015 Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize. Originally from Warwickshire, he now lives in Margate with his family.

More information

For more information about this book, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

The Killing of Butterfly Joe by Rhidian Brook

Hurtling across 1980s America, this wildly original story is full of characters you’ll never forget...The Killing of Butterfly Joe is the dazzling new novel from the award-winning, bestselling author of The Aftermath (soon to be a major movie). 

The Killing of Butterfly Joe by Rhidian Brook
Picador / hardback & Ebook / fiction / 8 March 2018 / £14.99

The Killing of Butterfly Joe

‘I killed Joe once, in a manner of speaking. But not twice. Not in the way you mean.’

Young Welshman, Llew Jones, wants to see America, have an experience and write about it. After an encounter with the charismatic, illusive, infuriating ‘Butterfly Joe’ and his freakish family, he gets his wish. He’s soon hurtling across 1980’s America, having an adventure whilst hoping to pull-off a life-changing deal. But it’s a road that leads to trouble and sees Llew thrown in jail. Now he has to give his side of the story if he’s ever going to get free.

Part neo-gothic thriller, part existential road trip, part morality tale, The Killing of Butterfly Joe is a wildly original story full of characters you’ll never forget. An epic tale of friendship, desire and the search for freedom and self-definition. It’s about participating in the Great American Dream – ‘the one that takes you from rags to riches via pitches’ – whatever the consequences. 

About the author

Rhidian Brook is an award-winning writer of fiction, television drama and film. His first novel, The Testimony of Taliesin Jones, won several prizes including the Somerset Maugham Award. His short stories have appeared in numerous publications, including the Paris Review and have been broadcast on BBC Radio 4. He is also a regular contributor to 'Thought For The Day'. His 2013 novel, The Aftermath, was translated into more than twenty languages and has been made into a movie, staring Keira Knightley, that is set for release in 2018. He once had a job selling butterflies in glass cases.

@RhidianBrook #TheKillingofButterflyJoe

‘Superb…. masterly.’ - Mail on Sunday, on The Aftermarth

‘Profoundly moving, beautifully written.’ – Independent, on The Aftermath

‘Superb.’ – Guardian, on The Aftermath

‘Terrific. … Richly atmospheric.’ - Sunday Telegraph, on The Aftermath

More information

For more information about this book, please contact me.

Beneath the Water by Sarah Painter

Beneath the Water by Sarah Painter
Published in paperback by Lake Union (an imprint of Amazon Publishing) | 8 February 2018 | £4.99 / audio book - £13.38


Munro House is the new start Stella needs. But it will also draw her back to a dark past…

Devastated by a broken engagement, Stella Jackson leaves her old life behind for a new start in rural Scotland. But when she arrives in the remote coastal village of Arisaig, nothing is what she expected.

At the edge of Arisaig sits Munro House; grand, imposing and said to be cursed by a string of tragic deaths. No less intriguing is its eccentric and handsome young owner, Jamie Munro, who hires Stella as his assistant while he pursues a seemingly impossible aim. Working through the great house’s archives, Stella soon finds herself drawn in by a cache of increasingly erratic letters from a young Victorian woman about her husband, Dr James Lockhart, a man whose single-minded ambition has strange parallels with Jamie’s.

Just as Stella begins developing feelings for Jamie, she discovers that the connection between the Lockharts and the Munros could have sinister repercussions for them both. She’s finally found the life she wants to live - but is it all an illusion?

About Sarah Painter

Sarah Painter writes novels which sometimes have historical elements or touches of magic, but always have an emotional core. Her debut novel, The Language of Spells, became a Kindle bestseller and was followed by a sequel, The Secrets of Ghosts. Her last book, In the Light of What We See, was also a bestseller and a Kindle First pick. 

Sarah hosts a podcast about writing (and interviews other authors and creative-types) at She lives in rural Scotland with her children, husband, and a grey tabby called Zelda Kitzgerald. She has a Masters in Creative Writing from St Andrews, drinks too much tea, loves the work of Joss Whedon, and is the proud owner of a writing shed. / @SarahRPainter / #BeneaththeWater

Talking points:

  • Anxiety and self-doubt – how Sarah overcame anxiety and self-doubt to pursue her ambitions
  • Psychological impact of childhood heart surgery - and the decision to marry and have children early as a result
  • Helping other writers through the 'Worried Writer' podcast, book, and website to overcome fear, self-doubt and procrastination
  • James Young Simpson - the amazing 19th century Scottish obstetrician, who has captivated Sarah's imagination


For more information on this book, please contact me.

The Homecoming by Rosie Howard

A major new series for fans of Katie Fforde, Veronica Henry, Carole Matthews and Jill Mansell

A heart-warming and witty new series that combines a cosy Sussex setting, relationship drama and a cast of endearing characters.

The Homecoming (Havenbury 1) by Rosie Howard | Published in hardback by Allison & Busby on 15 February 2018 | £19.99

The Homecoming by Rosie Howard

The Homecoming by Rosie Howard

Maddy fled the idyllic market town of Havenbury Magna three years ago, the scene of a traumatic incident she revisits most clearly in her dreams. Even so, when she is called back to help at the Havenbury Arms when her godfather Patrick suffers a heart attack, she is unprepared for the welter of emotions her return provokes.

Psychologist and ex-army officer Ben is sure he can help Maddy to resolve her fears, until he finds himself falling for her, and struggling with a recently uncovered family secret of which Maddy is blissfully unaware.

Then Maddy's mother, Helen, arrives and Patrick himself must confront a few uncomfortable truths about his history and the pub’s future.

The Homecoming is page-turning escapism at its best, and the start of an exciting new series.

Author biography

With a father in the forces and the diplomatic corps, Rosie Howard spent much of her childhood in UK boarding schools, joining her parents in exotic destinations during holidays. After obtaining a degree in music she pursued a career in public relations, campaigning, political lobbying and freelance journalism but realized her preference for making things up and switched to writing novels instead. She lives in a West Sussex village with her husband and two children in a cottage with roses around the door. / @RosieHowardBook

Talking points

  • Home / interiors – Rosie lives in a beautiful little cottage which she and her husband renovated themselves (photos available)
  • Family - raising a teenage daughter, a son with special needs, caring for elderly parents
  • Commenting on disability rights, equality for women, working women and access to childcare
  • Rural pub closures and community solutions – beer ties, pubs being sold off for housing, which features in the novel
  • Childhood spent in boarding schools – learning to be tough and resourceful

More information

For more information about this book, please contact me.

Love And Other Consolation Prizes by Jamie Ford

From the internationally bestselling and prize-winning author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet comes a moving novel with astonishing scope.

Ford’s boundless compassion for the human spirit, in all its strengths andweaknesses, makes him one of our most unique and compelling storytellers
— Helen Simonson, author of Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand

Allison & Busby / £14.99 / Hardback / Fiction / 12 September 2017

Love and Other Consolation Prizes by Jamie Ford

1909, Seattle. At the World’s Fair a half-Chinese boy called Ernest Young is raffled off as a prize. He ends up working in a brothel in Seattle’s famed Red Light District and falls in love with Maisie, the daughter of a flamboyant madam, and Fahn, a karayukisan, a Japanese maid sold into servitude.

On the eve of the new World’s Fair in 1962, Ernest looks back on the past, the memories he made with his beloved wife while his daughter, a reporter, begins to unravel their tragic past.

Jamie Ford is the great-grandson of pioneer Min Chung, who emigrated from China to San Francisco in 1865, where he adopted the Western name “Ford”. Jamie grew up in Seattle and worked as an art director and creative director, before becoming a full-time writer.  He now lives in Montana with his wife and children. 

For more information please visit Twitter: @JamieFord

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet spent two years on the New York Times Bestseller list.  It has been translated into 29 languages. Jamie Ford is currently writing the screenplay.

More information

For more information about this book, please contact me.

American War by Omar El Akkad

‘American War’ creates as haunting a post-apocalyptic universe as Cormac McCarthy did in ‘The Road’, and as devastating a look at the fallout that national events have on an American family as Philip Roth did in ‘The Plot Against America’...El Akkad has written a novel that not only maps the harrowing effects of violence on one woman and her family, but also becomes a disturbing parable about the ruinous consequences of war on ordinary civilians.
— Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

Hardback fiction / 7th September 2017 / £14.99 / 9781509852192

An audacious and powerful debut novel: a second American Civil War, a devastating plague, and one family caught deep in the middle – a story that asks what might happen if America were to turn its most devastating policies and deadly weapons upon itself.

Sarat Chestnut, born in Louisiana, is only six when the Second American Civil War breaks out in 2074. But even she knows that oil is outlawed, that Louisiana is half underwater, that unmanned drones fill the sky. And when her father is killed and her family is forced into Camp Patience for displaced persons, she quickly begins to be shaped by her particular time and place until, finally, through the influence of a mysterious functionary, she is turned into a deadly instrument of war. Telling her story is her nephew, Benjamin Chestnut, born during war – part of the Miraculous Generation – now an old man confronting the dark secret of his past, his family’s role in the conflict and, in particular, that of his aunt, a woman who saved his life while destroying untold others

Omar El Akkad is an award-winning journalist and author who has travelled around the world to cover many of the most important news stories of the last decade. His reporting includes dispatches from the NATO-led war in Afghanistan, the military trials at Guantanamo Bay, the Arab Spring revolution in Egypt and the Black Lives Matter movement in Ferguson, Missouri. He is a recipient of a National Newspaper Award for investigative reporting and the Goff Penny Memorial Prize for Young Journalists, as well as three National Magazine Award honorable mentions. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

More information: / /

Selected international praise

‘Whether read as a cautionary tale of partisanship run amok, an allegory of past conflicts or a study of the psychology of war, American War is a deeply unsettling novel. The only comfort the story offers is that it’s a work of fiction. For the time being, anyway.’  Justin Cronin, The New York Times

‘El Akkad’s formidable talent is to offer up a stinging rebuke of the distance with which the United States sometimes views current disasters, which are always happening somewhere else. Not this time.’ LA Times

‘Follow the tributaries of today’s political combat a few decades into the future and you might arrive at something as terrifying as Omar El Akkad’s debut novel, American War . . . El Akkad demonstrates a profound understanding of the corrosive culture of civil war.’ The Washington Post

‘A gripping plot and an elegiac narrative tone.’ Boston Globe

‘El Akkad’s debut novel transports us to a terrifyingly plausible future... Part family chronicle, part apocalyptic fable, American War is a vivid narrative of a country collapsing in on itself, where political loyalties hardly matter given the ferocity of both sides and the unrelenting violence that swallows whole bloodlines and erodes any capacity for mercy or reason. This is a very dark read; El Akkad creates a world all too familiar in its grisly realism’ Publishers Weekly

‘El Akkad has created a brilliantly well-crafted, profoundly shattering saga of one family’s suffering…American War is a gripping, unsparing, and essential novel for dangerously contentious times.’ Booklist

‘El Akkad’s astounding, gripping and eerily believable novel . . . masterful. Both the story and the writing are lucid, succinct, powerful and persuasive.’ Toronto The Globe and Mail

‘A dystopian vision . . . cannily imagined . . . But above all, El Akkad’s novel is an allegory about present-day military occupation’ Kirkus Reviews

 ‘A plausible, terrifying chronicle of the fracture and subsequent annihilation of the US… A thrillingly complex adventure that moves from the American south to Alaska and on to the Middle East and North Africa… At its heart and most movingly, the novel also becomes a coming-of-age narrative about how easily a curious child faced with horror and powerlessness can transform into a weapon intent on obliteration. As we learn at the end of the prologue, “This isn’t a story about war. It’s about ruin”’ The Australian

'The book that I found the most haunting this year. . . The premise is harrowing, the prose is stark and beautiful, the plotting is impeccable, and there’s something utterly heartbreaking in El Akkad’s subtle rendition of the ways in which war shapes the human soul.' Emily St John Mandel in The Millions

American War is a thought experiment in the form of a dystopian novel . . . The dramatic narrative takes us through the key events in Sarat’s life, while intercutting excerpts from various documentary sources that give us background and insight into the bigger political picture. A detailed world is constructed . . . American War asks us to imagine the uncomfortable.’ The Toronto Star

‘Omar El Akkad’s urgent debut transmutes our society’s current dysfunction into a terrifying yet eerily recognizable future, where contemporary global and local conflicts have wreaked havoc on American soil. The threads between today and that future are his masterfully shaped characters. Their resilience, savagery, and humanity serve both as a portrait of who we are but also what we might very well become.’ Elliot Ackerman, author of Dark at the Crossing


For more information about this book, please contact me.

Defectors by Joseph Kanon

From the bestselling author of Leaving Berlin and Istanbul Passage comes a thrilling and richly imagined novel about an American defector in Moscow during the Cold War.

'Kanon is fast approaching the complexity and relevance not just of le Carré and Greene but even of Orwell' New York Times

'Sensational! No one writes period fiction with the same style and suspense – not to mention substance – as Joseph Kanon' Scott Turow

'The perfect combination of intrigue and accurate history brought to life' Alan Furst

'Magnificent' Minette Walters

'Joseph Kanon owns this corner of the literary landscape and it's a joy to see him reassert his title with such emphatic authority' Lee Child

Published in hardback by Simon & Schuster on 1 June 2017 at £14.99

Moscow, 1961. Stalin has been dead for eight years. With the launch of Sputnik, the Soviet Union's international prestige is at an all-time high.

Former CIA agent Francis ‘Frank’ Weeks, the most notorious of the defectors to the Soviet Union, is about to publish his memoirs, and what he reveals is reportedly going to send shock waves through the West.

Weeks' defection in the early 50s shook Washington to its core – he had been a beloved member of the OSS and then the CIA, one of the bright young men who'd come out of the war ready to take an early lead in the new American century. His betrayal rippled through the State Department, prompting frantic searches for moles and forcing the resignation of Simon, Frank's brother and best friend.

When a Soviet agency approaches Simon, now a publisher in New York City, with a controversial proposition to publish his brother's memoirs, he knows that there's no way the US government will approve the publication of a book clearly intended as propaganda for the KGB. Yet he finds the offer irresistible since it will finally give him the chance to learn why his brother chose to betray his country. But what he discovers in Moscow is far more than he ever imagined...

Joseph Kanon is the Edgar Award–winning author of Leaving Berlin, Istanbul Passage, Stardust, Alibi, The Prodigal Spy, Los Alamos, and The Good German, which was made into a major motion picture starring George Clooney and Cate Blanchett. He lives in New York City. Visit him online at / @JosephKanon.


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The One by John Marrs

Finding your perfect match has never been easier.  Or more dangerous…

A page-turning psychological thriller with a difference, this is a truly unique novel which is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat. 

Film and TV rights have been optioned by Urban Myth films.

Del Rey / paperback original / 4th May 2017 £7.99. Also available as an e-book.

The One by John Marrs

One simple mouth swab is all it takes.  One tiny DNA test to find your perfect partner – the one you’re genetically made for. 

A decade after scientists discover everyone has a gene they share with just one person, millions have taken the test, desperate to find true love.  Now, five more people meet their match.  But even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking – and deadlier – than others…

The One shares stories from the perspectives of these five individuals in this unputdownable novel with a most intriguing premise.

  • "A compelling, dark read that gets you thinking." Sun
  • "A fantastic read if you enjoy an unpredictable story with twists and turns." ***** OK!
  • "Looking for a thrilling read? Then look no further." TV Extra Magazine, Sunday Star
  • "A thrilling eBook!" ***** Sunday Express  

John Marrs is a freelance journalist based in London, who has spent the last 20 years interviewing celebrities from the world of television, film and music for national newspapers and magazines. He has written for publications including The Guardian's Guide and Guardian Online; OK! Magazine; Total Film; Empire; Q; GT; The Independent; Star; Reveal; Company and Daily Star.  His debut novel The Wronged Sons, was released in 2013 and in May 2015, he released his second book, Welcome To Wherever You Are. The One was initially self-published as an e-book in July 2016 under the title A Thousand Small Explosions.

#MatchYourDNA @johnmarrs1

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Bright Shiny Things by Barbara Nadel (Hakim & Arnold 5)

Allison & Busby / hardback / 20 April 2017 / £19.99 / crime fiction

A friend from the past asks for private investigator Lee Arnold’s help in tracing his son.  Fayyad al’Barri was last thought to be in Syria having embraced radical Islam, but a cryptic message has prompted his family to believe Fayyad has had a change of heart and is searching for a way back home. With fellow investigator Mumtaz Hakim’s help, they might be able to establish contact.

From the bright lights of the Western world, to shady boxing clubs and murky online jihadist recruitment, and while violence erupts close to home, Mumtaz and Lee are on an unknown path into the mind of a terrorist, journeying closer to danger than they ever imagined.

Part crime procedural, part thriller, part psychological mystery Bright Shiny Things is a page-turning read and a fascinating insight into radicalisation, ISIS and the East End of London.

Praise for the Hakim & Arnold series

‘A gutsy tale, well grounded in local colour’ The Times

‘Bleak, brutal and timely’ Financial Times

‘Compelling.’ The Sunday Telegraph

‘This series has brilliantly established itself and this latest is another masterpiece.’ Crimesquad 

About Barbara Nadel

Born in the East End of London, Barbara Nadel has a degree in psychology and prior to becoming a full-time author she worked in psychiatric institutions and in the community with people experiencing mental health problems.

Barbara won the CWA Silver Dagger for Deadly Web, part of her Inspector Ikmen series.  She is available for interviews, events and to write articles.

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The Wanderers by Meg Howrey

'Phenomenal. The Wanderers explores the dangers and necessities of venturing away from the familiar and finding home in the unknown. Howrey's expansive vision left me awestruck' - Ruth Ozeki, author of A Tale for the Time Being

‘The Wanderers is a wonderful exploration of space, trust, and what it means to be a conscious creature, finely-tuned and funny from the first page to the last. I loved getting lost in Meg Howrey's off-kilter world of astronauts and their simulated fantasies.’ - Jonathan Lee, author of High Dive

Station Eleven meets The Martian in this brilliantly inventive novel about three astronauts training for the first-ever mission to Mars, an experience that will push the boundary between real and unreal, test their relationships, and leave each of them—and their families—changed forever.

Scribner (Simon & Schuster) / 6 April 2017 / £12.99 / HB / Fiction

As they look to the stars, what are they missing back home?

The Wanderers by Meg Howrey

In four years Prime Space will put the first humans on Mars. Helen Kane, Yoshi Tanaka, and Sergei Kuznetsov must prove they’re the crew for the job by spending seventeen months in the most realistic simulation every created

Helen is an experienced astronaut with a NASA position and a struggling grown-up daughter who needs her but when, at the age of fifty-three, she is offered a place on the training programme for the first crewed mission to Mars, she cannot refuse a last chance to walk among the stars.

Her fellow astronauts are Sergei, a gruff Russian whose teenage sons are less mysterious to him than they’d like to think; and Yoshi, kind and focused, whose exhaustive carefulness has led him ever further from his wife.

The three will be enclosed for months in a tiny spacecraft, while outside their loved ones negotiate life on Earth. How far will the wanderers travel in the pursuit of endeavour, and what will it be like to come home?

The Wanderers is a brilliant, witty and sharply observed novel from an exciting new voice.

‘An expansive tale of the costs of human ambition, The Wanderers is unquestionably the work of a brilliant writer at the height of her powers.’
— J. Ryan Stradal, author of Kitchens of the Great Midwest
‘The Wanderers is a stealthily brilliant novel… simple, gorgeous, and profoundly moving.’
— Peter Nichols, author of The Rocks and A Voyage for Madmen

Meg Howrey is a novelist and a former professional dancer and actor. Her non-fiction writing has been published in Vogue, and she is the author of two previous novels Blind Sight and Cranes Dance. The Wanderers is her UK debut.  She lives in Los Angeles.

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We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter

An extraordinary debut novel, drawn from author’s family history of survival in the Nazi Holocaust.

Reading Georgia Hunter’s We Were the Lucky Ones is like being swung heart first into history … A brave and mesmerizing debut, and a truly tremendous accomplishment.
— Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife

14 February 2017 / Hardback / Allison & Busby / £14.99 / fiction 

By the end of the Holocaust, 90 per cent of Poland’s three million Jews were annihilated; of the more than 30,000 Jews who lived in Radom, fewer than 300 survived.

We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter

The Kurc family shouldn’t have survived the Holocaust. In the spring of 1939 three generations are living relatively normal lives in Poland, despite the hardships Jews face. When war breaks out and the family is cast to the wind, the five Kurc siblings do everything they can to find their way through a devastated continent to freedom.

Addy, a musician, charms his way into possession of a Brazilian visa and into the first class piano lounge on a ship full of refugees bound for Rio; Jakob marries the love of his life in an abandoned house to a soundtrack of air sirens; Mila hides her daughter in a Catholic convent outside of Warsaw, only to return weeks later to find the convent in ruins; Genek endures a brutal winter in a Siberian gulag before embarking with his wife and newborn son on a yearlong exodus through Persia to fight for the Allies; and Halina attempts to flee over the Austrian Alps on foot – while pregnant. All this, across continents and often in ignorance as to the fate of the rest of their family, while the wheels of war turn.

We Were the Lucky Ones is a profoundly moving and memorable novel, and a gripping tale of bravery, based on the author’s family experiences.  It takes you on a journey through unimaginable darkness to a place of hope/ 

When Georgia Hunter was fifteen years old, she learned that she came from a family of Holocaust survivors. We Were the Lucky Ones was born of her quest to uncover her family’s staggering history. She lives in Connecticut, USA, and is available for interview and to write features.

Talking points

Discovering her Polish / Jewish heritage, aged 15

Growing up, while Georgia was close to her grandparents, she had no idea she was a quarter Jewish, or that she came from a family of Holocaust survivors - it wasn’t a big secret, just a piece of her grandfather’s past he had chosen to put behind him.

 At a family reunion in 2000 she discovered the greater Kurc family saga.  Snippets of stories overheard include: a sister who walked over the Austrian Alps, pregnant; a cousin born in the Siberian gulag, where it was so cold his eyes would freeze shut in the mornings and his mother had to use the warmth of her breast milk to coax them open; a harrowing mother-daughter escape from the Radom ghetto; a secret wedding in a blacked-out house in Lvov.

Travelling through Europe, tracing her family’s footsteps

Georgia followed in the Kurc family’s footsteps, travelling the route her family travelled, through Poland, Austria, Italy, and Brazil.  Some of the most moving moments were wandering the streets of Radom, where she discovered a mezuzah - one of only 2 remaining - in the doorway to their old apartment building, and standing with her son on the train platform in Bari, where several relatives reunited after the war.

Researching her family story

The story came together through travel, extensive interviews and outside research, with key findings through the Shoah Foundation, the Hoover Institution at Stamford and the UK Ministry of Defence.

Fact to fiction

While the bones of the story are all true (e.g., who was where, when), Georgia’s goal in writing We Were the Lucky Ones was to put readers in the shoes of her relatives, which is why she chose to write the novel in the present tense - to help the story feel relevant, visceral, memorable.  When she finally allowed herself to fictionalize the details it helped to bring the story closer to the truth.

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Purged by Peter Laws

Debut crime novel, first in a series, by Baptist minister Peter Laws

Introducing Matt Hunter, a sociology professor, who also assists the police over religiously-motivated crimes…

A tight and gripping story…Purged [is] a book that is nigh impossible to put down and will leave the reader hooked from start to finish…let’s welcome Matt Hunter to the world of macabre crime fiction. He’s a damaged, complicated and interesting man, and we’re looking forward to spending more time with him.
— Starburst Magazine

Purged by Peter Laws
Allison & Busby / 16 February 2017 / £12.99 / trade paperback 

Purged by Peter Laws

Matt Hunter lost his faith a long time ago. Formerly a minister, now a professor of sociology, he’s writing a book that debunks the Christian faith while assisting the police with religiously motivated crimes. 

On holiday with his family in Oxfordshire, Matt finds himself on edge in a seemingly idyllic village where wooden crosses hang at every turn. The stay becomes more sinister still when a local girl goes missing, followed by further disappearances. Caught up in an investigation that brings memories to the surface that he would prefer stay buried deep, Matt is on the trail of a killer determined to save us all.

Peter Laws is an ordained Baptist minister with a taste for the macabre. He writes a monthly column in The Fortean Times and also hosts the popular podcast and YouTube show The Flicks That Church Forgot which reviews horror films from a theological perspective. He regularly speaks and preaches at churches and has spoken at movie premieres, beer tasting evenings and paranormal conferences. He lives with his family in Bedfordshire.  Unleashed, the next Matt Hunter novel, will be published in 2018.  He is currently writing a non-fiction book for Icon Books exploring why we are drawn to the morbid (to be published in 2018). He's travelling the country drinking with vampires, hunting werewolves and meeting the women who collect dead babies (in Reborn doll form). 

Follow Peter on twitter @revpeterlaws and find out more at  
He is available for interview, events and to write features.

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Kill the Father by Sadrone Dazieri

Published in hardback by Simon & Schuster on 9 February 2017 at £12.99

  • Introducing an exciting new author, Sandrone Dazieri, with a brilliant, original and compelling debut thriller.
  • A bestseller throughout Europe
  • First in a planned series featuring Colomba Caselli and Dante Torre
Absolutely electrifying. Kill the Father is one of those rare treasures: a page-turning thriller—in every sense of the phrase—that is also brilliantly nuanced and rich with insight into the complex and compelling minds of those, good and bad, who inhabit its pages. This novel is the new definition of a one-sitting read.
— Jeffery Deaver
Kill The Father

Two people, each shattered by their past, team to solve a series of killings and abductions...

‘The world is a curving wall of grey cement.  The world has muffled sounds and echoes.  The world is a circle two times the length of his out-stretched arms.  The first thing the boy learned in that circular world were his new names.  He has two.  Son is the name he prefers.  He has a right to it when he does the right things, when he obeys, when his thoughts are clear and quick.  Otherwise, his name is Beast.  When he’s called Beast, the boy is punished.’

When a woman is beheaded in a park outside Rome and her six-year-old son goes missing, the police unit assigned to the case sees an easy solution: they arrest the woman’s husband and await his confession. But the Chief of Rome’s Major Crimes unit doubts things are so simple. Secretly, he lures to the case two of Italy’s top analytical minds: Deputy Captain Colomba Caselli, a fierce, warrior-like detective still reeling from having survived a bloody catastrophe, and Dante Torre, a man who spent his childhood trapped inside a concrete silo. Fed through the gloved hand of a masked kidnapper who called himself “The Father,” Dante emerged from his ordeal with crippling claustrophobia but, also, with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and hyper-observant capacities.

All evidence suggests that the Father is back and active after being dormant for decades. Indeed, he has left tell-tale signs that signal he’s looking forward to a reunion with Dante. But when Columba and Dante begin following the ever-more-bizarre trail of clues, they grasp that what’s really going on is darker than they ever imagined.

SANDRONE DAZIERI is the bestselling author of more than fifty screenplays. Kill the Father, the first in a planned series featuring Colomba Caselli and Dante Torre, is his British debut.

Early Praise for Kill The Father

  • 'Ingenious’ John Verdon
  • 'A mind-bending, stunningly original page-turner’ - Jonathan Kellerman
  • 'An intense, gripping, and entirely unforgettable story…A thriller of the highest order.’ - Christopher Reich
  • '[A] dazzling U.S. debut.... Told in brutal, often wrenching detail, this is not an odyssey for the faint of heart.’ - Publishers Weekly
  • 'A dark treat for mystery buffs.’ - Kirkus Reviews
  • 'Don't be surprised if Kill the Father becomes the next Big Thing in international crime fiction.' - Booklist, starred review

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The Liberation by Kate Furnivall

Paperback original / Simon & Schuster / £7.99 / 3 November 2016

The Liberation by Kate Furnivall

Author of internationally bestselling The Russian Concubine returns with an unforgettably powerful story of love, loss and the long shadow of war.

‘Set in Sorrento and Naples this is a thrilling roller-coaster of a read, seductive, mysterious and edgy. I LOVED it’  Dinah Jefferies

The Liberation is set in Italy in 1945 as British and American troops attempt to bring order to the devastated country and Italy’s population fights to survive. Caterina Lombardi is desperate – her father is dead, her mother has disappeared and her brother is being drawn towards danger. One morning, among the ruins of the bombed Naples streets, Caterina is forced to go to extreme lengths to protect her own life and in doing so forges a future in which she must clear her father's name. An Allied Army officer accuses him of treason and Caterina discovers a plot against her family. Who can she trust and who is the real enemy now? And will the secrets of the past be her downfall?

Detailed research and wonderfully drawn characters make this a powerful, gripping read.

Kate Furnivall is the author of eight novels, including the international bestseller The Russian Concubine. She lives in Devon.

Praise for Kate Furnivall

  • ‘Wonderful . . . hugely ambitious and atmospheric’ Kate Mosse 
  • ‘The definition of a terrifically well-written page-turner’ Dinah Jefferies
  •  ‘A thrilling plot ... Fast-paced with a sinister edge.’ Times 
  • ‘Gripping . . . poignant, beautifully written ...will capture the reader to the last’ Sun 
  • ‘Truly captivating’ Elle  
  • ‘Perfect escapist reading’ Marie Claire  
  • ‘An achingly beautiful epic’ New Woman
  • ‘A rollicking good read’ The Daily Telegraph 
  • ‘Breathtakingly good’ Marie Claire  

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Mercy Killing by Lisa Cutts

Paperback original / Simon & Schuster / 20 October 2016 / £7.99

Award-winning writer and Detective Constable Lisa Cutts returns with gripping and authentic new series featuring Detective Inspector Harry Powell

Mercy Killing by Lisa Cutts

‘I SO enjoyed Mercy Killing. Taut. Tense. Insider knowledge leaps from every page’ 
Simon Booker, author of Without Trace

'Brutal, harrowing and compelling…Lisa Cutts has a unique voice: empathetic, observant, incisive. ‘
Elizabeth Haynes, author of Into the Darkest Corner

Could you ever justify murder…?

‘Usually Friday nights were Albie Woodville’s favourite part of the week.  He went home to his second-floor flat, shut the door, and after a simple meal purchased from the reduced section of his local Co-op, he settled down in front of his television to watch the programmes he had recorded that week.  However, something was wrong this particular Friday...
Albie heard the noise of the wood breaking and instantly knew that today was the day.’

The death of a local sex offender places the police officers at East Rise incident room under immense pressure – they must treat this case like any other murder, but they know what Albie Woodville did and can feel little sympathy. Except, as the investigation progresses, it becomes clear this isn’t just a one-off killing – someone is out for revenge... 

Lisa Cutts is the author of two previous police procedural novels, based on her twenty years of policing experience. She works as a detective constable for Kent Police and has spent ten years in the Serious Crime Directorate dealing mostly with murders and other serious investigations.  Her debut novel, Never Forget, won the 2014 Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award for best thriller