We are thrilled to bring you the fourth in our series of commentaries on spy novels read by the students of Fiction and Espionage at the University of Edinburgh.
This week on the Spybrary Spy Book Podcast the students discuss Liar’s Candle written by August Thomas The students, Agents E, S and I share their views and observations on Liar’s Candle and weave into their session thoughts from August Thomas herself.
Please do check out the intro to this series to give you some context around what the students were requested to produce for the course.
So what is Liar’s Candle by August Thomas all about?
A Washington Post Notable Fiction Book for 2011
Reminiscent of the work of John le Carre and Olen Steinhauser, this brilliant debut novel features a young State Department intern on the run in Turkey, trying to outwit and outmaneuver everyone from the Turkish president to Islamic extremists to the CIA.
Penny Kessler, a young intern at the US Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, wakes up in a hospital on the morning of July 5 to find herself at the center of an international crisis. The day before, the Embassy had been the target of a devastating terrorist attack that killed hundreds of Penny’s friends and colleagues. Not only has a photograph of Penny emerging from the rubble become the defining image of the event (#TheGirlwiththeFlag), but for reasons she doesn’t understand, her bosses believe she’s a crucial witness.
Suddenly, everyone is desperately interested in what Penny knows. But what does she know? And who can she trust? As she struggles to piece together her memories of the event, she discovers that Zach Robson, the young diplomat she’s been attracted to all summer, went missing during the attack. Now his boss at the CIA, Christina Ekdahl, wants people to believe that Zach was a traitor. Only one person knows he’s innocent: Penny. And Christina will do anything to silence her.
Racing to keep from being killed and to uncover the truth, Penny reluctantly partners with Connor Beauregard, a rookie CIA officer on his first overseas assignment. But the two won’t survive unless they can trust each other and keep their wits about them. From the first page to the last this is a white-knuckle ride.
Intrigued? Find out more about Liar’s Candle and August Thomas
Want to know more about August Thomas? Check out her official site. You can also listen to a Spybrary interview conducted by host Shane Whaley with August Thomas on episode 43 of the Spybrary Podcast.
Fiction and Espionage Series on the Spybrary Spy Podcast in collaboration with the University of Edinburgh
Session 1 – Free Agent by Jeremy Duns
Session 2 – Black Bear by Aly Monroe
Session 3 – Trinity Six by Charles Cumming
Session 4 – Liars Candle by August Thomas
Session 5 – Slow Horses by Mick Herron