A new look at the Cold War

The paperback's not out for a week or so, so I've not mentioned it yet, but I have a new Cold War thriller available on Kindle:

Here's the description:

November 1957: Sputnik circles in orbit. The free world sees a threat of atomic war.

Schoolteacher and former commando Paul Reynolds reluctantly agrees to work for MI6. In East Berlin, scientist Elsa Vadimova, desperate to escape, holds - or can steal - the price of freedom.

A secret from the past, an enemy within, a promise of the future.

... and in writing it, I found so many resonances with today's geopolitics. Also things that the original Cold War thrillers, written in the early 60s, paid little or no attention to: women in technology, also, well, technology, the psychology of East German citizens, the post-war anarchy in Central/Eastern Europe. I had a lot of fun trying to bring the period to life.

It's sort of a heist story...


Roll up, roll up...

I'm not much for this self-promotion thing, but Destructor Function is on special offer at 99p/99c on Amazon until 30th January. If you're a Kindle Unlimited user, then read it for free, along with Edge and Point...

If you want to know what I'm working on right now, this here cover design is a hint:

I'm maybe a fifth of the way through the 2nd draft, and taking it slowly. But yes, Donal Riordan returns...



I live in a Welsh valley these days, but I love travelling and cityscapes can still impress me. The resurgent Canary Wharf is dominated by the world of high finance. Among the towers sits Reuters Plaza, setting for several scenes in Destructor Function. On the building you can see the day's headlines scrolling past.

This is where Case and Dominika learn of the explosion in Oxfordshire.

The dojo where Case trains is loosely based on the old Marshall Street dojo of the late Enoeda sensei, where I was fortunate enough to train every week from February 1989 until sometime around 1996 or '97, when my attendance became spotty due to working at client sites away from home more and more (as opposed to four and a half hours minimum per day spent commuting between my house, some miles outside Tunbridge Wells, and London). That was when I was still working for Europe's largest software consultancy. And getting my first stories and novels published.

Nowadays, I mostly train in my back-garden dojo:

It's a breeze-block shed (in the US one would say cinder block), which means no heating in winter and no air-con in summer, but it suits me just fine.

But if I'm staying in a hotel, then my hotel room becomes my dojo. Or some quiet spot outdoors.. because, as Yoshiko mused back in my first book, it's the discipline you carry with you that makes you feel at home.

Happy New Year, everyone!


New book!

And just in time for the holidays, my new contemporary cyber thriller...

Introducing Case.

When terrorists use cyber attacks and lethal bioweapons, who is going to defend you? Keyboard warriors? Intelligence officers? Special-forces operators? More often than the public knows, we need them all.

Sometimes the cyber geek, the spy and the fighter are the same man. Or woman.

When his best friend Fuad commits suicide on his wedding day, it seems unconnected to Case's investigation of cyber intrusion at a NATO airbase. But Fuad was a security specialist at a London bank, and a near-identical suicide inside the Air Force begins a hunt that leads from idealistic hackers in Berlin and Stockholm to manipulative psychologists and organized crime within the Moscow establishment, and a stolen Soviet-era virus without vaccine or antidote. But behind them all lies a combat jamaat, a jihadist group whose first target is going to be London, with a death toll that may eventually reach millions.

Can Case and his formidable senior partner Kat, both operatives of IACS - pronounced Eye-Axe - track down and stop the threat before masses of people begin to die?

... Happy Holidays, and enjoy!


Get the Edge... and Point!

Both titles are now out, freshly revised from the as-by-Thomas Blackthorne editions. Definitely superior. Edge and Point both feature Josh Cumberland. I expect to continue the series, possibly with prequels.

Here's the description for Edge:

Josh Cumberland’s daughter lies in a coma she will never wake from. He can’t help her, but perhaps he can save someone else.

This is near-future Britain: storms, flash whirlwinds and floods. A legalized knife culture. And a missing rich schoolboy, whose buried memories hold the key to political corruption at the highest levels.

Josh is a cyber specialist, ex-special forces and relentless. Can he pull a country and a world back from the edge of disaster?

And two reviews:

“Cumberland leaps off the page, a trained killer whose anger and grief at his daughter's condition is brilliantly portrayed; the depiction of his simmering rage, barely held in check, and how he channels it, provides a masterclass in characterisation.” The Guardian

“What starts off as a simple missing persons enquiry develops into a full-blown coup against a fascist state... Set in a Britain extrapolated from today's violent streets, yet still highly recognisable, Edge is the first in what will hopefully be a long running series.” Total Sci-Fi

Both ebooks are available right now, exclusive to Amazon in order to participate in Kindle Unlimited. Paperbacks to follow. (There's no reason, these days, to delay ebook publication if the paper editions aren't ready yet.)

Since they show as brand new, fresh books, they'll also start off with no reader reviews. Please leave an honest review if you like the books!

Coming soon: Destructor Function, Case Book 1. A Case & Kat novel. If you like Josh Cumberland, I think you'll like Case. And as for his colleague Kat... she's a scary piece of work.