A Spy Alone – Interview with Charles Beaumont, Former MI6 Officer Turned Author

A Spy Alone by Charles Beaumont
Spybrary's David Clark talks spy fiction and A Spy Alone – the debut novel from former MI6 Officer Charles Beaumont

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.

A Spy Alone by Charles Beaumont

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:


Prepare for a riveting journey into a world of espionage, where secrets are the name of the game and gadgets are the real stars. SPYSCAPE Studios drops its podcast series titled ‘A History of the World in Spy Objects,’ with thrilling stories and enigmatical objects. 

Hosted by historian, TV presenter, author and social media star Alice Loxton, the project promises to offer a deep dive into the hidden histories of iconic artefacts that have played significant roles in shaping the world. The impressive guest line-up includes Thomas HeatherwickDaniel ArshamKengo KumaMarc Newson, and Joana Vasconcelos, and they are bound to reveal cunning tales of objects, ranging from Napoleon’s actual briefcase to poison-tipped umbrellas.

best spy writers ranked
The best spy writers ranked by the Sunday Times' Tim Shipman, grab your copy here.

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.

Spybrary Spy Podcast Discussion Group
Chat more about spy books in our Spybrary discussion group

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