The manuscript of my latest book, The Suicide Club is with the copy editor and the publication date is set for the 6th November, armistice week, which is very appropriate, because it is a World War 1 thriller set at Field Marshal Haig’s headquarters and in occupied Belgium. Here is some the publisher has prepared on the plot.
THE SUICIDE CLUB, by Andrew Williams
For all readers of Robert Harris, William Boyd and John le Carre, The Suicide Club is a First World War spy thriller set at Field Marshal Haig’s headquarters in France and in occupied Belgium during the autumn of 1917. It tells the dark, disturbing and untold story of the shadow espionage battle that was fought behind the lines as British soldiers struggled through the mud towards Passchendaele. Andrew Williams is ‘in the front rank of English thriller writers’ (Daily Mail) and his novels possess ‘a richness of characterisation and intelligence that few thrillers can match’ (Sunday Times).
August 1917, and a fresh British offensive is underway at the Front near Ypres. Soldier-spy Sandy Innes is summoned home from his undercover work in occupied Belgium. Seconded to the Staff at Field Marshal Haig’s headquarters in France, his official orders are to help prepare for the big break through that is supposed to win the war by Christmas. But Innes’s boss, Mansfield Cumming, the head of the new Secret Service, has his own reasons for securing Innes a place on Haig’s Staff. There are, he tells Innes, ‘concerns’ in government about the army’s intelligence operation. Innes deduces that it must be a great deal more serious than that if Cumming’s political masters want him to spy on the senior officers of the army.
Innes’s briefings on the German defences in Belgium are largely ignored by his new boss, Brigadier General Charteris. Instead he discovers he is to be part of a advance assault unit that will prepare the way for the ‘breakthrough’. The other Intelligence Officers on the Staff have a name for the unit: ‘The Suicide Club’. It is clear they have little faith in Charteris and his schemes, and are deeply suspicious of the advice he is offering Field Marshal Haig. They tell Innes that one of their number questioned the integrity of Charteris’s intelligence reports, but died in mysterious circumstances before he could take it further.
Innes digs deeper, he discovers that the dead man was investigating Charteris’s most valuable intelligence source in Belgium, Faust. In what becomes a race against time, Innes must uncover a traitor, protect his own network in Belgium and survive membership of The Suicide Club.
The Suicide Club: published 6 November 2014