…Nik Morton is at pains to point out that the heading on the undernoted post is from a journalist… not from his own pen….whichever way you view it, it’s a great read…
‘Better than Jack Higgins’
All this week Crooked Cat Publishing is offering three thrillers for a bargain e-book price each of 99p/$1.11 or thereabouts. The thrillers are The Carbon Trail, The Prague Papers and Vengeance Wears Black.
This novel takes place in 1975 in Czechoslovakia; there are also flashbacks to Poland in 1942 and England in the 1960s. There’s a very brief snippet at the end of this blog.
Tana is a spy – and she’s psychic. Orphaned in the Warsaw ghetto during the Second World War, she was adopted by a naval officer and his wife. Now she works for the British Secret Intelligence Service. Czechoslovakia’s people are still kicking against the Soviet invasion. Tana is called in to restore morale and repair the underground network. But there’s a traitor at work.
And she learns about a secret Soviet complex in the Sumava Mountains. Unknown to her there’s a top secret establishment in Kazakhstan, where Yakunin, one of their gifted psychics, has detected her presence in Czechoslovakia.
When Tana infiltrates the Sumava complex, she’s captured! A desperate mission is mounted to either get her out or to silence her – before she breaks under interrogation.
Amazon review excerpts:
The locations are detailed, as are the workings of the intelligence agencies, evidence surely of an in depth knowledge and extensive research. The pace is full speed ahead and often the subject matter is brutal but I couldn’t look away and I certainly didn’t want to stop reading. If you enjoy Bond or Bourne then you will enjoy this, it just begs to be a movie.
Well plotted and executed this is a story that held me enthralled and intrigued from the first page to the last…and then I read the epilogue, and I realised just how eye-opening this novel is. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I’m so relieved that there is more to come.
~ Bookworm, Jan 2015
Morton’s heroine Tana is made of stern stuff…
~ Michael Parker, author of The Devil’s Trinity and The Third Secret
Interestingly, Morton sells it as a true story passed to him by an agent and published as fiction, a literary ploy often used by master thriller writer Jack Higgins. Let’s just say that it works better than Higgins.
~Danny Collins, author of The Bloodiest Battles
… gave me that feeling of “being there myself”, rubbing shoulders with his characters, and for quite a while after finishing it, I found myself thinking about them and all they had been through.
~ William Daysh, author of Over by Christmas
As well as creating memorable characters, Morton captures the essence of Prague and the Czech soul, educates us into the world of Eastern Bloc politics, and tells an intricate tale of espionage…
~ Maureen Moss, Travel journalist
In the prologue, the author says he came by the story via a manuscript given to him by a Mr Swann of the British SIS. Part of the conversation went like this:
“I’m not going to put any agents at risk by writing about this, am I?” [I said].
“No,” [Swann replied]. “These adventures won’t figure in the revelations of Wikileaks, Assange or Snowden.”
“I’m pleased to hear it.”
“It might have fresh relevance, now that Mr Putin is keen to start a fresh Cold War.”
“True. What do you want in return?”
He studied the remains of his drink and because I wasn’t psychic I couldn’t fathom what he was thinking, but it was more than his words: “Just the story. The story is the thing.”
Another question had been nagging throughout our clandestine meeting. “Why bring this to me? As much as I try spreading the word on Twitter and Facebook, I’m not exactly well-known, you know.”
“Jack Higgins turned us down.”
I glared and he grinned. “Just joking,” he said.
I fingered the manuscript in anticipation. It seemed too good to be true. “All right, then, I’ll give it a go.”
“Just do Tana justice,” he said.
How I wished I’d met Tana Standish. People like me – and those accursed politicians – sit cosily at home with our petty complaints while men and women like her fight the good fight against evil. The Cold War may have gone away for a while, but we still need people like Tana Standish, Alan Swann and Keith Tyson. And they get no thanks. Mainly, their stories go unheard and unread. At the most, their achievements probably get a footnote in a newspaper.
After several months shut away from the world of today, I’ve finished this book, which I have called The Prague Papers – the first chronicle of Tana Standish’s missions which presages several calamitous adventures with significant revelations from recent history. It’s dedicated to all the secret agents who fight behind the scenes and behind the news.
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