The Suicide Club (Hardback)Andrew Williams (author)
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For all readers of Robert Harris, William Boyd and John le Carre, The Suicide Club is a First World War spy thriller set in Occupied Belgium in 1917, and tells the dark, disturbing and untold story of the shadow espionage battle fought behind the lines. Andrew Williams is 'in the front rank of English thriller writers' (Daily Mail) and his novels possess 'a richness of characterisation and intelligence that few thrillers can match' (Sunday Times).
August 1917. Britain is mired in bloody stalemate on the Western Front and questions are being asked in government about the leadership of the army. Soldier spy Sandy Innes is summoned from his undercover work in Belgium by the new Secret Service to investigate. Officially transferred to Field Marshal Haig's headquarters in France to prepare agents for the next big push, his secret mission is to spy on Haig's intelligence chiefs.
At GHQ, no one is interested in Innes's inside knowledge. Instead, he is attached to an advance assault group dubbed 'The Suicide Club'. His fellow intelligence officers have little faith in the top secret information being fed to Haig by their superior, and as Innes digs deeper he begins to suspect treachery. The stakes could not be higher: the fate of hundreds of thousands of British soldiers.
In a tense race against time, against the background of political machinations in government and at GHQ, Innes must survive membership of The Suicide Club, and then risk all by going back behind enemy lines to uncover the truth.
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
Number of pages: 368
Weight: 618 g
Dimensions: 240 x 163 x 33 mm
The Suicide Club is one of those compelling reads that, once started, cannot be put down. But it is more than that. Set in the momentous late summer and autumn of 1917, it is drawn from all-too-real events. The cast includes Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig, David Lloyd George, and crucially, Brigadier General John Charteris, director of military intelligence. Just one among the many of several moral mazes that gripped me was Williams' insight into the way in which raw intelligence could be twisted to suit the whims of men in powerful positions. * Scotland on Sunday Books of the Year (Tam Dalyell) *
Absolutely convincing... with a touch of John Buchan. Andrew Williams is a compelling thriller writer * SHOTS magazine *
One of the best historical spy thrillers of recent time. The Suicide Club exceeded all my expectations. It really is very, very good: comprehensively researched, carefully plotted and quite brilliantly written. -- Mike Ripley * SHOTS magazine *
Andrew Williams synthesises historical writing with the excitement of the thriller: utterly persuasive character drawing, a pungent sense of locale and period, and sheer storytelling impetus that is impossible to resist. -- Barry Forshaw * Financial Times *
Williams has become one of Britain's most accomplished thriller writers. Rich in the politics of war and based on spectacular research into the reality,The Suicide Club delivers a delicate portrait of the intricacies of war, while never neglecting the bravery. * Daily Mail *
Meticulously researched and classily written . . . offers a distinctive perspective * Sunday Times *
The war-damaged Innes is a strong, sympathetic character and the meticulously researched background is fascinating * The Times *
Andrew Williams' novels synthesise historical writing with the excitement of the thriller. The Suicide Club is a satisfying first world war espionage adventure set in Field Marshall Haig's HQ in France. The business of trust and betrayal clearly fascinates this writer, and there is an adroit balance of elements here: economical but utterly persuasive characterdrawing, a pungent sense of locale and period, and sheer storytelling impetus that is impossible to resist. -- Barry Forshaw * Financial Times *
Williams is an admirable writer and really knows his subject. What stands out about this book is the depth of the author's research coupled with a strong narrative and nuanced understanding of the internal politics of GHQ. As the author's note makes clear, there are disturbing correspondences between the fiction and the historical fact. * Spectator *
One of the best historical spy thrillers of recent time. The Suicide Club exceeded all my expectations. It really is very, very good: comprehensively researched, carefully plotted and quite brilliantly written. The Suicide Club is a dazzling mix of spy fiction and history ranging from the battlefields of Flanders to brothels in Antwerp to Lloyd George's Downing Street, and certainly the best spy story I've read this year. Andrew Williams could soon find himself alongside Le Carre, Deighton, Littell and Furst. -- Mike Ripley * SHOTS *
Establishes Andrew Williams as an unusually accomplished craftsman, a master of the intelligent historical spy thriller. His research is thorough and never obtrudes. His imagination works in harmony with his powers of observation. His plotting is intricate and coherent. The narrative drives compellingly along. A splendid novel -- Allan Massie * The Scotsman *
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