In this episode of the Spybrary podcast, host David Clark interviews former MI6 officer and debut author Charles Beaumont, whose novel A Spy Alone has just been published in the UK. (Available on Kindle elsewhere.)
A QUICK HEADS UP. A Spybrary first, due to Charles Beaumont's work for the Intelligence Services, our technical division has digitally altered his voice to protect his identity.
Spybrary's David Clark and Charles Beaumont discuss the themes of the book, including Russian interference in the UK's political affairs, the complexities of modern espionage, and the influence of spy fiction on real-world intelligence operations. Charles shares his literary influences, the portrayal of characters in his book, and the challenges of writing spy fiction in the post-Cold War era.
Charles also reveals which spy movies and spy TV series he rates best!
Tune in for an intriguing conversation about the intersection of spy literature and real-life espionage.
So what is A Spy Alone By Charles Beaumont all about, Shane?
‘This is first class' The Times
‘A stunning debut' Maxim Jakubowski, Crime Time
‘A marvelously confident debut, sharply observed and exceptionally well written’ Charles Cumming, author of Box 88
Everyone knows about the Cambridge Spies from the Fifties, identified and broken up after passing national secrets to the Soviets for years. But no spy ring was ever unearthed at Oxford. Because one never existed? Or because it was never found…?
2022: Former spy Simon Sharman is eking out a living in the private sector. When a commission to delve into the financial dealings of a mysterious Russian oligarch comes across his desk, he jumps at the chance.
But as Simon investigates, worrying patterns begin to emerge. His subject made regular trips to Oxford, but for no apparent reason. There are payments from offshore accounts that suddenly just… stop.
Has he found what none of his former colleagues believed possible, a Russian spy ring now nestled at the heart of the British Establishment? Or is he just another paranoid ex-spook left out in the cold, obsessed with redemption?
From Oxford’s hallowed quadrangles to brush contacts on Hampstead Heath, agent-running in Vienna and mysterious meetings in Prague, A Spy Alone is a gripping international thriller and a searing portrait of modern Britain in the age of cynical populism. Perfect for readers of Charles Cumming, Mick Herron and John le Carré.
Thank you to today's sponsor:
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Did you know that one of the UK's top journalists Tim Shipman of The Sunday Times, has a passion for espionage novels? And that he has meticulously curated a compendium of his favorite 125 spy authors for the Spybrary Podcast and Community, all carefully ranked with suggestions on which book to start with from each spy author.
Grab your copy of this invaluable dossier and as a bonus, your enlistment ushers you into the monthly Spybrary Briefing, where we divulge imminent and upcoming spy book releases.
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